Arianespace Lofts Two Satellites in First Launch After Anomaly
Arianespace conducted its third flight of the year this Thursday, lofting two telecommunications satellites, DSN 1/Superbird 8 for Sky Perfect JSAT, and Hylas 4 for Avanti Communications. The mission was Ariane 5’s first return to the launchpad after a trajectory deviation in January led to the rocket placing two satellites in the incorrect orbit.
This launch, Ariane 5’s 98th, went off without a hitch. Both Avanti and Sky Perfect JSAT confirmed their satellites made it safely to orbit, where they will now conduct in-orbit testing to verify nominal performance.
Once it enters service at 162 degrees east longitude, Superbird 8 will be renamed Superbird B3, and will replace Superbird B2 in offering commercial services mainly in the Japanese market using the Ku- and Ka-bands. DSN 1 is a defense communications payload associated with DSN’s contract with the Japanese Ministry of Defense, which aims to upgrade the country’s X-band satellite network.
Hylas 4 is the third satellite Arianespace has launched for Avanti, following Hylas 1 in November 2010 and Hylas 2 in August 2012. A Very High Throughput Satellite (VHTS) manufactured by Orbital ATK, Hylas 4 will extend Avanti’s Ka-band broadband coverage across Europe, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. The satellite also has steerable spot beams that can be used to cover the Caribbean and South America. Avanti will position the satellite at 33.5 degrees west.