Feature story

Feature story

A highly symbolic mission is reflected in words and images on Ariane 5's payload fairing

Logo installation on the Ariane 5’s fairing is highlighted in this photo series.  At left, the wording honoring Lockheed Martin’s 100th and 101st commercial geostationary telecom satellites is put in place.  In the center photo, the Vietnam flag is positioned next to the VINASAT-2 logo. At right is the SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation’s message of hope.

April 26, 2012

A satellite manufacturer’s program milestone and an expression of hope for a country in recovery following its natural disaster are represented with words and symbolic logos on the payload fairing for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission from French Guiana.

This upcoming launch, scheduled for May 15, will carry JCSAT-13 for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation of Japan, along with VINASAT-2 to be operated by the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group.

The Ariane 5’s payload fairing is shown in its preparation rig at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

As with all Ariane flights, the payload fairing – which protects the mission’s passengers during ascent through the denser atmospheric layers – are made available for logos, country flags and other symbols that represent the customers and their satellites.  The fairing is jettisoned approximately three minutes after an Ariane 5’s liftoff.

For the upcoming mission, both satellites were produced by the same manufacturer – Lockheed Martin – and are based on the company’s A2100 spacecraft series.  These are its 100th and 101st commercial geostationary communications satellites; an achievement that is marked by appropriate wording on a lower segment of the Ariane 5’s fairing.

Lockheed Martin's first commercial geostationary satellite was launched in December 1975, and its spacecraft have provided customers with nearly 1,000 years of operational service since then.  To date, 41 Lockheed Martin-built platforms have been launched by Arianespace – with the most recent being BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R, lofted on an Ariane 5 mission performed last August.

Located on the launcher’s main fairing section is a “Hope for Japan” logo from SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation.  The company said this represents not only its wishes for a recovery of the Tohoku-area that was hit by the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and tsunami, but also the hope for the future of Japan and Japanese people throughout the global community.

As part of the logo, the Japanese words: "Hold our hearts together" are included on the red disk that represents the sun on Japan’s national flag.  According to SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, this message extends to all people in Japan, as well as the entire world population.

“We hope you will remember that there are still so many victims who need assistance, and we, as a Japanese company, appreciate continuous understanding and aid for such areas and victims from the international society,” the corporation said.

The SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation logos for the Ariane 5 mission are detailed above, along with an artist’s overview of the payload fairing.

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