Wednesday 21 December, Ariane 5 completed a flawless launch from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre, orbiting two telecommunications satellites, StarOne D1 for the operator EMBRATEL and JCSAT-15 for the operator JSAT Corporation (SKY Perfect JSAT). The flight marked the European launcher’s 76th straight success since 2003.
With a launch mass of 6,433 kilograms, StarOne D1 is a telecommunications satellite built by Space Systems Loral (SSL) for the operator EMBRATEL. StarOne D1 will deliver broadcast, broadband and Internet services and other digital applications for Brazil, Western Latin America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. It has an expected service lifetime of more than 15 years.
With a launch mass of 3,400 kilograms, JCSAT-15 is a telecommunications satellite built by Space Systems Loral (SSL) for the operator JSAT Corporation (SKY Perfect JSAT). JCSAT-15 will offer a range of communications services for Japan, including video broadcasting, data transfer and maritime and aeronautical communication applications for the Oceania and Indian Ocean region. It has an expected service lifetime of 15 years.
Commenting on the launch, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall said: "CNES is proud to have completed this launch from our world-renowned spaceport, Ariane 5’s seventh this year and its 90th in all, taking its run of straight successes to 76 and reaffirming its position as the world leader in satellite launch services. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the teams to whom we owe this success, at ESA, at Arianespace, across Europe’s space industry and of course at EMBRATEL and SKY Perfect JSAT. I would also like to thank and congratulate CNES’s teams at the Launch Vehicles Directorate and the Guiana Space Centre for accomplishing this latest launch for Ariane 5."