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Ariane 5 March 26, 2018

Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission to orbit satellites for Japanese and UK operators

Arianespace’s third mission of 2018 is set for April 5, using its workhorse Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher from French Guiana to deliver the DSN-1/Superbird-8 and HYLAS 4 satellites into geostationary transfer orbit.

With an evening liftoff from the Spaceport, the upcoming mission – designated Flight VA242 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system – will serve two long-time customers: SKY Perfect JSAT of Japan and British operator Avanti Communications.

Another launch for SKY Perfect JSAT

Avanti Communications’ HYLAS 4 is installed on its adapter interface unit, readying the relay satellite for integration on Flight VA242’s Ariane 5.

As the 19th SKY Perfect JSAT satellite entrusted to Arianespace for launch, DSN-1/Superbird-8 is a dual-use relay platform. Its Superbird-8 payload uses high-performance Ku- and Ka-band transponders for communications services primarily in the Japanese market.

The spacecraft’s DSN-1 (X-Band Defense Communications Satellite-1) payload is associated with the Program to Upgrade and Operate X-Band Satellite Communications Function, for which the DSN Corporation – a subsidiary of SKY Perfect JSAT – has concluded a contract with Japan’s Ministry of Defense.

DSN-1/Superbird-8 was produced by MELCO (Mitsubishi Electric Corporation) using a DS2000 platform, with manufacturing management provided by NEC Corporation. It will be the third MELCO-built satellite to be launched by Arianespace. Once in geostationary orbit, the spacecraft will operate at 162 deg. East Longitude, replacing the Superbird-B2 satellite lofted in 2000 by Arianespace.

Arianespace’s third launch for Avanti Communications

The HYLAS 4 satellite to be orbited on Flight VA242 is Avanti Communications’ third spacecraft for launch by Arianespace from the Spaceport in French Guiana. This platform will deliver high-speed, reliable and secure satellite communications in Ka-band to Internet service providers (ISPs), mobile network operators (MNOs), governments and satellite operators across Europe. The high throughput satellite also will provide services in regions such as West and Central Africa, while its steerable beams enable coverage for Europe, South America, the Caribbean and Middle East.

HYLAS 4 will be the 28th Orbital ATK-built satellite orbited by Arianespace in a series that started with the TOPEX-Poseidon mission in 1992. The operational geostationary orbital slot for HYLAS 4 is 33.5 deg. West Longitude.

  • A larger version of the photo above is available for downloading in the Gallery.
  • More details are available in the launch kit.


Launch window for Flight VA242:

French Guiana Universal Time (UTC) Tokyo, Japan Paris, France
Between 6:34 p.m.
and 7:24 p.m.
on April 5
Between 21:34
and 22:24
on April 5
Between 6:34 a.m.
and 7:24 a.m.
on April 6
Between 11:34 p.m.
and 12:24 a.m.
on April 5/6


SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation website:

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation website:

Avanti Communications website:

Orbital ATK website:

Ariane 5 January 26, 2018

SES-14 and Al Yah 3 satellites orbited by Ariane 5 on Flight VA241

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