Latest Mission updates

Ariane 5 February 14, 2020

Launch readiness confirmed: Approval is given for Arianespace’s Ariane 5 flight on February 18

Arianespace’s dual-payload mission with satellites to serve Japan and South Korea – JCSAT-17 and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B, respectively – has been approved for next week’s launch from the Spaceport in French Guiana.

Decals for Arianespace Flight VA252’s two satellite passengers – GEO-KOMPSAT-2B (at left) and JCSAT-17 (center) – were installed on the launcher’s payload fairing during activity inside the Spaceport’s Ariane 5 Final Assembly Building (overview photo, at right).

The February 18 liftoff was authorized at the completion of today’s launch readiness review, which confirmed the status of Ariane 5, its two passengers, the Spaceport’s infrastructure, and a network of ground station’s that will track the launcher’s trajectory.

With this go-ahead, Ariane 5 will be transferred Monday (February 17) from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone. This will position it for liftoff the following day during a launch window that opens at 7:18 p.m. and continues until 8:20 p.m. (local time in French Guiana).

Ariane 5 “by the numbers”

The upcoming mission is designated Flight VA252 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, notating the 252nd Ariane launch since this series of European-built vehicles began operation in 1979. ArianeGroup is the Ariane 5’s production prime contractor.

Next week’s mission also will mark the 108th launch of a heavy-lift Ariane 5 from French Guiana, where the vehicle is operated alongside Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega.

The sequence for launch success

Ariane 5 will deliver a lift performance of more than 10,200 kg. on the February 18 mission to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). This total includes the JCSAT-17 and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B satellite passengers, and also factors in the launcher’s dual-payload deployment system and integration hardware.

SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation’s JCSAT-17 – produced by Lockheed Martin – will ride in the upper position of Ariane 5’s payload arrangement, to be deployed first during the 31-min. flight sequence. It will deliver flexible, high-bandwidth communications for users in Japan and the surrounding region from an orbital position at 136 deg. East.

Located below JCSAT-17 in the launcher payload arrangement is GEO-KOMPSAT-2B, which was developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). It was designed to conduct Earth environment monitoring and ocean monitoring missions, and will be stationed at the 128.2 deg. East orbital location.

  • 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 12, 2020

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

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