Press Release

The latest successful launch Arianespace orbits JCSAT-12 and Optus D3

By SpaceRef Editor
August 21, 2009
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On Friday evening, August 21, Arianespace orbited two communications satellites: JCSAT-12, built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems for the Japanese operator SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, and Optus D3, built by Orbital Sciences Corporation for the Australian operator Optus.

46th Ariane 5 launch, 32nd success in a row

The latest successful launch of an Ariane 5, the fourth in 2009, confirms that Arianespace’s launch Service & Solutions continue to set the global standard for the world’s leading space communications operators and manufacturers.

Ariane 5 is the only commercial heavy launcher in service today capable of simultaneously launching two payloads.

This was the 46th launch of an Ariane 5 and the 32nd successful launch in a row.

A launch for prestigious customers

Arianespace offers the best choice of launch solutions to meet the specific requirements of today’s leading operators.

Arianespace has established a relationship of mutual trust with SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, the leading private satellite operator in Japan, that reaches back to 1989. Since JCSAT-1, the Japanese operator has chosen Arianespace to launch 17 of its satellites.

To date, Arianespace has won 27 of the 36 satellite launch contracts open to competition in the Japanese commercial market.

Optus D3 is the fifth satellite orbited by Arianespace for the Australian operator, following Aussat A3 in 1987, Optus & Defence C1 in 2003, Optus D1 in 2006 and Optus D2 in 2007. SingTel, the parent company of Optus and Chunghwa also chose Arianespace to launch their satellite ST-1, orbited in 1998. In June 2009, SingTel and Chunghwa have selected Arianespace to launch ST-2.

JCSAT-12 and Optus D3 mission at a glance

The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Friday, August 21, 2009 at 7:09 pm local time in Kourou (6:09 pm in Washington, D.C., 22:09 UT, and on Saturday, August 22 at 12:09 am in Paris, 2:09 am in Moscow, 7:09 am in Tokyo and 8:09 am in Sydney).

JCSAT-12. Weighing about 4,000 kg at launch, JCSAT-12 will provide communications services for Japan, the Asia-Pacific region in general, Oceania and Hawaii. It was built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems in Newtown, Pennsylvania, and is fitted with 30 Ku-band and 12 C-band transponders. JCSAT-12 has a design life of 15 years and will be used as an in-orbit spare in the SKY Perfect JSAT fleet. This is the 40th platform built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems to be launched by Arianespace.

Optus D3. Orbital Sciences Corporation integrated the Optus D3 satellite in Dulles, Virginia, using a Star-2 platform. Weighing about 2,500 kg at launch, Optus D3 will be positioned at 156 degrees East. It has a design life of 15 years and will provide direct TV broadcasting services for Australia and New Zealand. Optus D3 is the 16th satellite built by Orbital Sciences Corporation to be launched by Arianespace.

SpaceRef staff editor.