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Arianespace Prepares To Launch Japanese And Korean Satellites

Ariane 5 launch site; Credits: Arianespace

Arianespace will orbit two telecommunications satellites for its third mission of 2020, using an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center, lofting JCSAT-17 for the Japanese operator SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B for Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). This  mission is dedicated to space applications for telecommunications and environment monitoring,

Flight VA252 will be performed from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3) in Kourou, French Guiana. The Launch Readiness Review (LRR) will take place on 14 February 2020 in Kourou to authorize the start of operations for the final countdown. The launch is scheduled for 18 February 2020.

JCSAT-17 will be the 21st SKY Perfect JSAT satellite to be launched by Arianespace. This geostationary communications satellite will deliver flexible, high-bandwidth communications to users in Japan and the surrounding region. Its payload incorporates S-band, C-band and Ku-band transponders, which will provide satellite communication services. The S-band and C-band transponders will serve NTT DOCOMO, Inc., the largest telecommunications company in Japan, for its flexible mobile communications services in Japan and the surrounding region under IRU contract (Indefeasible Right of Use). SKY Perfect JSAT will support NTT DOCOMO’s satellite communication services.

JCSAT-17 will be the 32nd satellite launched by Arianespace for Japan. Built by Lockheed Martin Space, it will be the 47th satellite made by this manufacturer to be launched by Arianespace.

The GEO-KOMPSAT-2 program is a national program of the Korean government to develop and operate two civilian geostationary satellites: GEO-KOMPSAT-2A for meteorological and space weather monitoring missions; and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B for Earth environment monitoring and ocean monitoring missions. The GEO-KOMPSAT 2 program also ensures the succession for the COMS program (Communication, Ocean and Meteorological Satellite).

The satellite carries two main payloads: GOCI II (Geostationary Ocean Color Imager II), provided by Airbus Defence and Space, and the GEMS (Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer), provided by Ball Aerospace and Technologies.

The predecessor satellite, GEO-KOMPSAT-2A, was successfully launched by Arianespace in December 2018. GEO-KOMPSAT-2B will be the eighth satellite launched by Arianespace for South Korea. GEO-KOMPSAT-2B will be KARI’s second satellite as a manufacturer, and its third as a client, to be launched by Arianespace.

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