KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Satellites for two operators based in the Asia-Pacific region – Japan’s SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) – were successfully deployed to geostationary transfer orbit on Arianespace’s latest Ariane 5 mission.
Lifting off from the Spaceport in French Guiana, today’s flight delivered an estimated payload lift performance of 10,109 kg. JCSAT-17 was released first, separating from Ariane 5 at 27 minutes after liftoff; followed four minutes later by its GEO-KOMPSAT-2B co-passenger.
The numbers add up with latest success
“For the second Ariane 5 launch of the year, our heavyweight vehicle has performed flawlessly once again,” said Luce Fabreguettes, Arianespace Executive Vice President Missions, Operations & Purchasing, in her post-flight comments. “Congratulations to all the operational and support teams for a job well done!”
Designated Flight VA252, today’s mission was the 252nd launch of an Ariane-series vehicle since 1979, and the 108th using Ariane 5 – which is delivered to Arianespace by ArianeGroup as production prime contractor.
Flight VA252 also was Arianespace’s second Ariane 5 flight in 2020 from the Spaceport, following the January 16 success that delivered the EUTELSAT KONNECT and GSAT-30 satellites to GTO. As the company’s third mission overall this year, it also follows the February 7 Soyuz mission carrying 34 OneWeb constellation satellites – which originated from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The journey begins
Released from Ariane 5’s upper payload position, JCSAT-17 is the 20th satellite orbited by Arianespace for Tokyo-based SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation – which is a leader in space-based broadcasting and communications.
JCSAT-17 was produced by Lockheed Martin Space using the company’s LM 2100™ spacecraft bus. It incorporates S-band, C-band and Ku-band transponders to deliver flexible, high-bandwidth communications for users in Japan and the surrounding region from an orbital position at 136 deg. East.
The lower passenger in Ariane 5’s dual-payload configuration was GEO-KOMPSAT-2B, which marks the second satellite Arianespace has launched for KARI as a manufacturer – and its third as a customer. Designed to conduct Earth environment monitoring and ocean monitoring missions as part of Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2 program, it will be stationed at the 128.2 deg. East orbital location.
Contributing to a record year of launches
Arianespace is targeting a record mission count in 2020 – with up to 12 opportunities identified from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana using Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega; along with the maiden flights of Ariane 6 and Vega C; plus eight more from the cosmodromes at Baikonur and Vostochny.
After today’s success, Arianespace’s Luce Fabreguettes announced a busy launch schedule for the following month – which will include a total of three launches during March, with two from the Spaceport in French Guiana using Soyuz and Vega; plus another Soyuz mission at the service of OneWeb from Baikonur Cosmodrome.