Mitsubishi Electric’s ST-2 satellite arrives in French Guiana for launch on Ariane 5
April 6, 2011 – Ariane Flight VA202
A milestone telecommunications satellite has been delivered to the Spaceport in French Guiana for Arianespace’s Ariane 5 VA202 heavy-lift mission, which will be performed as part of the company’s busy 2011 launch schedule.
The ST-2 relay platform arrived yesterday aboard an Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner at Rochambeau International Airport near the French Guiana capital city of Cayenne – clearing the way for its transfer to the Spaceport’s clean room facilities, where the pre-launch checkout process will be implemented.
ST-2 was produced by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation using its original DS2000 spacecraft bus for ST-2 Satellite Ventures Pte Ltd., marking the first time a Japanese manufacturer has entered the commercial telecommunications satellite market outside of the country. It was built at Kamakura Works in Kamakura, Japan, and will be operated from an orbital location of 88 deg. East longitude during a design lifetime of 15-plus years.
The DS2000 bus was evolved from the Engineering Test Satellite-8 (ETS-8) developed for NASDA (the National Space Development Agency of Japan), and also was used for the SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation’s Superbird-C2 telecom spacecraft, which was orbited by Arianespace in August 2008 on an Ariane 5.
ST-2 will be utilized by the ST-2 Satellite Ventures joint company of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) and Chunghwa Telecom Company Ltd. for relay services over the Middle East, Central Asia, India and Southeast Asia. It will succeed the ST-1 spacecraft, which was launched by Arianespace in 1998.
Joining ST-2 for Arianespace’s VA202 dual-passenger mission with Ariane 5 will be the Indian Space Research Organisation’s GSAT-8 dual-purpose telecommunications and navigation satellite. GSAT-8 arrived in French Guiana on Monday, April 4 and already is well advanced in its pre-launch checkout process at the Spaceport.