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Ariane 5 February 12, 2020

Ariane 5 is assembled with JCSAT-17 and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B for Arianespace’s upcoming heavy-lift launch

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s next flight is now fully-assembled following the integration of its two satellite passengers – SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation’s JCSAT-17 and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) – marking a key milestone in preparations for the February 18 mission to geostationary transfer orbit.

The completion of Ariane 5’s assembly for Flight VA252 is shown during activity inside the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building. At left, GEO-KOMPSAT-2B is positioned atop the launcher, followed by the installation of JCSAT-17 (center and right), which is encapsulated in Ariane 5’s protective payload fairing.

Encapsulated in the ogive-shaped protective fairing, JCSAT-17 has been positioned atop GEO-KOMPSAT-2B – which was installed on the launcher’s cryogenic core stage during previous activity inside the Ariane 5 Final Assembly Building at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

These successive integration steps enable a new series of preparation milestones to begin. They include the launch readiness review on February 14, which is to be followed three days later by Ariane 5’s rollout to the ELA-3 launch zone.

Liftoff is scheduled during a 1-hr., 2-min. launch window opening February 18 at 7:18 p.m. local time in French Guiana, with the two spacecraft to be deployed during a flight lasting 31 minutes.

Ariane 5 will deliver a total payload lift performance of more than 10,200 kg. during the mission – with this combined mass factoring in JCSAT-17 and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B, plus the launch vehicle’s dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.

A dual-passenger delivery for Ariane 5

JCSAT-17 will be the 21st satellite for SKY Perfect JSAT to be launched by Arianespace. This geostationary-orbit communications platform is designed to deliver flexible, high-bandwidth communications for users in Japan and the surrounding region. Lockheed Martin produced the spacecraft using its LM 2100™ spacecraft bus.

GEO-KOMPSAT-2B will be operated as part of Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2 program, and is to perform Earth environment monitoring and ocean monitoring duties. This spacecraft was manufactured by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), and will be the organization’s second satellite as a manufacturer – and its third as a client – to be orbited by Arianespace.

February 18’s mission is designated Flight VA252 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, signifying the 252nd use of an Ariane-series launch vehicle. The heavy-lift Ariane 5 launcher is delivered to Arianespace by ArianeGroup as the production prime contractor.

  • Larger versions of the photos above are available for downloading in the Gallery.


Launch window for Flight VA252:

 French Guiana UTC Washington, D.C.
Between 7:18 p.m. and
8:20 p.m. on Feb. 18
Between 22:18 and
23:20 on Feb. 18
Between 5:18 p.m. and
6:20 p.m. on Feb. 18
Paris Japan Korea
Between 11:18 p.m. and
12:20 a.m. on Feb. 18/19
Between 07:18 a.m. and
08:20 a.m. on Feb. 19
Between 07:18 a.m. and
08:20 a.m. on Feb. 19


More details are available in the VA252 launch kit:

Ariane Flight VA252
PDF / 970 KB

Korea Aerospace Research Institute website:

SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation website:

Lockheed Martin website:


Ariane 5 February 10, 2020

Payload integration begins for Arianespace’s next dual-payload Ariane 5 mission

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