Latest Mission updates

Ariane 5 April 4, 2018

Ariane 5 moves to the launch zone for Arianespace’s dual-payload mission on April 5

The Ariane 5 for Flight VA242 is shown midway in its transfer to the ELA-3 launch zone.

The DSN-1/Superbird-8 and HYLAS 4 satellites are another step closer to launch following the rollout of their heavy-lift Ariane 5, which occurred earlier today at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

With this transfer from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone, Arianespace’s third mission in 2018 can now enter its final countdown for liftoff on April 5.

Designated Flight VA242 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, tomorrow’s Ariane 5 launch will deploy its two passengers to geostationary transfer orbit on a mission lasting just under 34 minutes from liftoff to final payload separation.

A launch for Japanese and UK operators

As the 19th SKY Perfect JSAT satellite entrusted to Arianespace for launch, DSN-1/Superbird-8 is a dual-use relay platform. Its Superbird-8 payload uses high-performance Ku- and Ka-band transponders for communications services primarily in the Japanese market.

The spacecraft’s DSN-1 (X-Band Defense Communications Satellite-1) payload is associated with the Program to Upgrade and Operate X-Band Satellite Communications Function, for which the DSN Corporation – a subsidiary of SKY Perfect JSAT – has concluded a contract with Japan’s Ministry of Defense.

The HYLAS 4 satellite to be orbited on Flight VA242 is Avanti Communications’ third spacecraft for launch by Arianespace from the Spaceport in French Guiana. This platform will deliver high-speed, reliable and secure satellite communications in Ka-band to Internet service providers (ISPs), mobile network operators (MNOs), governments and satellite operators across Europe.

  • A larger version of the photo above is available for downloading in the Gallery.


Launch window for Flight VA242:

French Guiana Universal Time (UTC) Tokyo, Japan Paris, France
Between 6:34 p.m.
and 7:24 p.m.
on April 5
Between 21:34
and 22:24
on April 5
Between 6:34 a.m.
and 7:24 a.m.
on April 6
Between 11:34 p.m.
and 12:24 a.m.
on April 5/6


More details are available in the VA242 launch kit:

SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation website:

NEC Corporation website:

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation website:

Avanti Communications website:

Orbital ATK website:

Ariane 5 April 3, 2018

Approval is given for Arianespace’s Ariane 5 launch with DSN-1/Superbird-8 and HYLAS 4

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