Thursday 5 April, Ariane 5 completed a flawless launch from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), orbiting two telecommunications satellites, DSN-1/Superbird-8, built by NEC Corporation for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, and HYLAS 4, built by Orbital ATK for Avanti. It was the third launch of the year from the CSG and Ariane 5’s 98th in total.
With a launch mass of 5,348 kilograms, DSN-1/Superbird-8 is a satellite built by NEC Corporation and the 19th to be orbited for operator SKY Perfect JSAT by an Ariane launcher. SKY Perfect JSAT is a leader in the converging TV broadcasting and telecommunications markets, and the number one satellite operator in Asia. Superbird-8 will provide telecommunications services mainly in the Japanese market, while DSN-1 is part of the Program to Upgrade and Operate X-Band Satellite Communications Function, for which the DSN Corporation, a subsidiary of SKY Perfect JSAT, has signed a contract with Japan’s Ministry of Defence. It has an expected service lifetime of more than 15 years.
With a launch mass of 4,050 kilograms, HYLAS 4 is a satellite built by Orbital ATK. The HYLAS fleet provides broadband Internet access to homes, schools, mobile network operators and governments through an elite collection of service providers. HYLAS 4 will cover all of Europe, as well as West and Central Africa, while its steerable beams will deliver services to the Caribbean, Middle East and South America. It has an expected service lifetime of 15 years.
On the occasion of this latest success for Europe’s space programme, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “Ariane 5, the world leader in satellite launch services for nearly 15 years, has brilliantly accomplished this new launch, proving its reliability yet again and confirming that the Guiana Space Centre is the best launch base in the world. I would like to congratulate and thank all of the teams to whom we owe this success for their professionalism and expertise, at ESA, at Arianespace, across Europe’s space industry, at SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and at Avanti, and of course CNES’s teams at the Launch Vehicles Directorate and the Guiana Space Centre.”