300th success for Arianespace
May 16, 2012
By Chris Forrester
Arianespace celebrated its 300th satellite launch from its Kourou space centre by successfully lifting Japan’s JCSAT-13 and Vietnam’s VinaSat-2 satellites into orbit.
The Japanese satellite will be used by Sky Perfect/JSAT for DTH transmissions, while Vietnam’s craft is to be operated by the country’s Posts & Telecoms company.
These were the 300th and 301st satellites to be launched from French Guiana, and the 100th and 101st commercial satellites to be constructed by Lockheed Martin.
According to Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall, this flight also enabled his company to surpass the 300th mark for the total number of primary satellite passengers launched in its operations from French Guiana – a count that does not include some 50 additional auxiliary or secondary payloads. Le Gall also noted the mission continues a 23-year relationship of Japan’s SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation with Arianespace, which began in 1989 when JCSAT-1 was orbited on an Ariane 4. JCSAT-13 is the 27th satellite that Japanese operators have entrusted to commercial launch services with the Ariane family of vehicles.
Next up for Ariane is a launch on June 19th when the passengers are EchoStar-17, and a weather satellite.