Mission accomplished: Arianespace has now launched over 300 satellites from French Guiana.
On Tuesday, May 15, Arianespace successfully launched a direct broadcast and a communications satellite: JCSAT-13 for Japanese operator SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and VINASAT-2 for the operator Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), as part of a turnkey contract with Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS). These were the 300th and 301st satellites launched by Arianespace from French Guiana, and the 100th and 101st commercial satellites produced by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems.
62nd Ariane 5 launch, 48th success in a row
Today’s successful Ariane 5 launch once again proves the launcher’s operational capabilities. Ariane 5 handles a complete range of missions, from commercial launches into geostationary orbit to launches into special orbits. This was the 62nd launch of an Ariane 5, and the 48th successful launch in a row. Ariane 5 is the only heavy commercial launch vehicle now on the market capable of simultaneously launching two payloads. Arianespace’s latest successful mission clearly shows that its launch Service & Solutions continue to set the global standard and guarantee independent access to space for all customers, including national and international space agencies, private operators and governments.
Over 300 satellites launched by Arianespace for prestigious operators
Arianespace offers the launch services that best match the demanding requirements of leading operators worldwide. Over the last 23 years, since the launch of JCSAT-1 in 1989, Arianespace and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation have developed an exceptional relationship. JCSAT-13 is the 27th satellite for a Japanese operator to use the European launcher. Arianespace is particularly proud of its selection to launch VINASAT-2, Vietnam’s second communications satellite, after VINASAT-1, launched by Arianespace in April 2008. VINASAT-2 will enable the operator Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), to expand its offering in Vietnam with an entire range of telecommunications services.
JCSAT-13/VINASAT-2 mission at a glance
The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 7:13 pm local time in Kourou (6:13 pm in Washington, D.C., 22:13 UT, and on Wednesday, May 16 at 12:13 am in Paris, 5:13 am in Hanoi and 7:13 am in Tokyo). JCSAT-13 and VINASAT-2 are the 42nd and 43rd Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems platforms to be launched by Arianespace. JCSAT-13 was built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems using an A2100AX platform. Weighing 4,528 kg at launch, it will be positioned at 124 degrees East longitude in geostationary orbit, and offers a design life exceeding 15 years.
The satellite is fitted with 44 Ku-band transponders and will provide direct TV broadcast links for all of Japan, replacing the JCSAT-4A satellite, as well as satellite services for Southeast Asia. VINASAT-2, weighing 2,969 kg at launch, was also built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems at its plant in Newtown, Pennsylvania, using an A2100 platform. It will be positioned at 131.8 degrees East, and offers a design life exceeding 15 years. Fitted with 24 Ku-band transponders, Vinasat-2 will provide radio, television and telephone links for all of Vietnam and neighbouring countries from its geostationary orbit.