Arianespace to close out 2016 with dual payload Ariane 5 launch

by Chris Bergin

Arianespace’s final launch of the year involved the successful lift off of its Ariane 5 workhorse rocket on Wednesday. The launch vehicle was tasked with lofting the Star One D1 and JCSAT-15 satellites for deployment into geostationary transfer orbit. The launch occurred at 20:30 UTC.

Ariane 5 launch:

The final mission of the year for Arianespace, Ariane 5 conducted her seventh launch of 2016 from the European Spaceport in French Guiana.

The mission was the second time in 2016 that two Space Systems Loral-built satellites (SSL) have ridden to space on the same Ariane 5 launcher.

Total payload lift performance was approximately 10,720 kg., with the Star One D1 and JCSAT-15 satellites being deployed during a flight lasting just over 43 minutes. The mission was designated Flight VA234 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, signifying the 234th with an Ariane family vehicle.

Positioned in Ariane 5’s upper passenger position, protected by the launcher’s ogive-shaped payload fairing was the Star One D1 relay platform for Brazil’s Embratel Star One.

The satellite is equipped with C-, Ku-, and Ka-band payloads and will be used for telecommunications, television broadcast, broadband, Internet access, and other services such as digital inclusion in Brazil and in the Latin American region.

Star One D1 is Star One’s fourth generation bird and was originally set to support the Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, since Embratel, in a co-participation with Claro, was selected as the Official Telecommunication Sponsor for this worldwide event. However, natural manifest delays put pay to those specific plans, although the spacecraft has a much larger role to play in space.

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to help Star One provide much needed services that will improve the human experience in Brazil and throughout Latin America,” said John Celli, president of SSL.

“This is the second satellite that (we’ve built) for Star One, and there is no better endorsement of our success than a customer returning to work with us again. Star One and SSL share a commitment to high quality and reliability and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship.”

Star One D1 will complement the service provided by Embratel Star One’s Brasilsat B4 satellite (launched by Arianespace in 1994), extending operations in C-Band and bringing new capacities in Ku-band for Latin America and Ka-band for Brazil.

Star One D1 is based on the SSL 1300 satellite platform that provides the flexibility for a broad range of applications and technology advances. It will be located at 84 degrees West longitude. The satellite is designed to deliver service for 15 years or more.

“The D1 will help transform the lives of many people in Latin America who currently do not have access to the high-speed communications necessary for both economic and social well-being,” added Gustavo Silbert, president of Star One.

With an estimated liftoff mass targeted at 6,433 kg., Star One D1 marks the beginning of Embratel Star One’s fourth-generation satellites, the D family.

JCSAT-15 was Flight VA234’s lower passenger, contained in Ariane 5’s SYLDA dispenser system.

This spacecraft will be utilized by Japanese operator SKY Perfect JSAT Corp. to broadcast the multi-channel pay TV service SKY PerfecTV! across Japan, as well provide data transfer communications and maritime/aviation applications for the Oceania and Indian Ocean regions.

JCSAT-15 is a 10-kW satellite which will be located at 110 degrees East longitude where it replaces the N-SAT110 satellite currently on orbit after being launched by Arianespace in 2000.

“We are very proud and honored once again to provide the largest operator in Asia-Pacific region with our service. I would like to thank SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation for continuing to express its trust in us for almost 25 years,” said Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël.

“This contract is significant mark of confidence in Arianespace, and also clear recognition of the quality and competitiveness of our launch services.”

In addition to providing legacy service, the satellite will also provide expansion capability and it is designed with the flexibility to adjust its coverage of Japan and the Indian Ocean Region to serve the areas with the highest demand.

JCSAT-15 is also based on the SSL 1300 satellite platform that provides the flexibility for a broad range of applications and technology advances and is expected to deliver services for 15 years or longer. JCSAT-15 is the third SSL-built satellite for SKY Perfect JSAT to launch this year.

“SSL is a world leader in satellite manufacturing with a record of high quality, reliability and value and working together will help us meet the growing demand for satellite services in the region,” noted said Shinji Takada, Representative Director, President and CEO of SKY Perfect JSAT.

“We at SKY Perfect JSAT signed with Arianespace a contract to launch our JCSAT-15 satellite. JCSAT-15 will be used to broadcast our main service, the SKY PerfecTV!, multichannel pay TV service, from the 110 East geostationary position. We are grateful that we could contract with our good partner Arianespace and thus ensure the stable continuity of our broadcasting service.”

Following the launch there will be 84 SSL-built geostationary satellites on orbit.

Ariane 5 will be back in action in the new year with the February launch of the Intelsat 32e/Sky Brasil 1 and Telkom 3S satellites.

(Images via SSL and Arianespace).

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