Arianespace orbits Japanese, South Korean satellites

Image courtesy of Arianespace.

On Tuesday, February 18, Arianespace’s Ariane 5 launched two geostationary satellites, JCSAT-17 for the Japanese operator SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).

JCSAT-17 is the 20th satellite orbited by Arianespace for SKY Perfect JSAT. Built by Lockheed Martin Space, JCSAT-17 will offer flexible broadband communications services to users in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. Its payload includes S-, C- and Ku-band transponders. The S and C-band transponders will be used by NTT DOCOMO, Inc., the largest telecommunications company in Japan.

GEO-KOMPSAT-2B (also known as Cheollian-2B), an Earth Observation satellite owned by South Korean space agency KARI, has two main payloads: GOCI II (Geostationary Ocean Color Image), supplied by Airbus Defence and Space; and GEMS (Geostationary Environmental Monitoring Spectrometer), supplied by Ball Aerospace & Technologies.

GEO-KOMPSAT-2B is a South Korean government program to develop and operate two geostationary satellites for civil applications: GEO-KOMPSAT-2A for meteorology and space environment monitoring missions; and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B, for environmental monitoring of both land and oceans. The GEO-KOMPSAT-2 program is a follow-up to the COMS (Communication, Ocean and Meteorological Satellite) program. It has a liftoff mass of 3,400kg and will work in tandem with GEO-KOMPSAT-2A, launched in 2018, and will replace Cheollian-1.

“The development of Cheollian 2B as scheduled has enabled Korea to participate in the global environmental surveillance system in a leading position along with the US and Europe. We will continue to strengthen our satellite development capabilities to help Korea play a major role in global environmental monitoring and disaster response,” said Choi Weon-ho, Director of Space, Nuclear & Big Science Policy at the Ministry of Science and ICT (MIST).

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