Arianespace’s Ariane 5 Soars to Success with JCSAT-17 and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B
(Source: Arianespace; issued Feb 18, 2020)
Satellites for two operators based in the Asia-Pacific region – Japan’s SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) – were successfully deployed to geostationary transfer orbit on Arianespace’s latest Ariane 5 mission.

Lifting off from the Spaceport in French Guiana, today’s flight delivered an estimated payload lift performance of 10,109 kg. JCSAT-17 was released first, separating from Ariane 5 at 27 minutes after liftoff; followed four minutes later by its GEO-KOMPSAT-2B co-passenger.

The numbers add up with latest success

“For the second Ariane 5 launch of the year, our heavyweight vehicle has performed flawlessly once again,” said Luce Fabreguettes, Arianespace Executive Vice President Missions, Operations & Purchasing, in her post-flight comments. “Congratulations to all the operational and support teams for a job well done!”

Designated Flight VA252, today’s mission was the 252nd launch of an Ariane-series vehicle since 1979, and the 108th using Ariane 5 – which is delivered to Arianespace by ArianeGroup as production prime contractor.

Flight VA252 also was Arianespace’s second Ariane 5 flight in 2020 from the Spaceport, following the January 16 success that delivered the EUTELSAT KONNECT and GSAT-30 satellites to GTO. As the company’s third mission overall this year, it also follows the February 7 Soyuz mission carrying 34 OneWeb constellation satellites – which originated from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The journey begins

Released from Ariane 5’s upper payload position, JCSAT-17 is the 20th satellite orbited by Arianespace for Tokyo-based SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation – which is a leader in space-based broadcasting and communications.

JCSAT-17 was produced by Lockheed Martin Space using the company’s LM 2100™ spacecraft bus. It incorporates S-band, C-band and Ku-band transponders to deliver flexible, high-bandwidth communications for users in Japan and the surrounding region from an orbital position at 136 deg. East.

The lower passenger in Ariane 5’s dual-payload configuration was GEO-KOMPSAT-2B, which marks the second satellite Arianespace has launched for KARI as a manufacturer – and its third as a customer. Designed to conduct Earth environment monitoring and ocean monitoring missions as part of Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2 program, it will be stationed at the 128.2 deg. East orbital location.

Contributing to a record year of launches

Arianespace is targeting a record mission count in 2020 – with up to 12 opportunities identified from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana using Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega; along with the maiden flights of Ariane 6 and Vega C; plus eight more from the cosmodromes at Baikonur and Vostochny.

After today’s success, Arianespace’s Luce Fabreguettes announced a busy launch schedule for the following month – which will include a total of three launches during March, with two from the Spaceport in French Guiana using Soyuz and Vega; plus another Soyuz mission at the service of OneWeb from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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Lockheed Martin's Most Advanced Mobile Communications Satellite Launches
(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued Feb. 18, 2020)
KOUROU, French Guiana --- Lockheed Martin's third satellite based on the modernized LM 2100 bus launched from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 rocket, and is traveling to its transfer orbit for a series of in-orbit tests before operations are handed over to Sky Perfect JSAT Corporation. JCSAT-17 will provide flexible mobile communications services to users in Japan and the surrounding region.

JCSAT-17 is the first Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) communications satellite built on the modernized LM 2100, which includes 26 innovations that make the satellite more powerful, flexible and versatile in orbit. A reprogrammable mission processor adds flexibility as mission needs change. Lockheed Martin is currently manufacturing five modernized LM 2100-based satellites for commercial and government customers.

"Advanced mobile satellite communications are necessary as the world consumes more and more data in the transition to 5G," said Guy Beutelschies, Lockheed Martin's Vice President for Communication Satellite Solutions. "This satellite will diversify and harden Japan's communications infrastructure, by adding new options for mobility, bandwidth where it's needed, and reliable connections."

The satellite's payload incorporates S-band and C-band transponders with a flexible processor along with 18m mesh reflector, enabling assured communications continuity during high-volume events. The satellite also features robust Ku-band connectivity. JCSAT-17 is the eighth satellite built by Lockheed Martin for SJC, beginning with NSAT-110, JCSAT-9 through JCSAT-13 and JCSAT-110R.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

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