Encyclopedia Astronautica
Superbird


Japanese domestic business communications satellite network

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • FS-1300 American communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 1989.06.05. More...
  • HS 601 American communications satellite bus. First launch 1990.01.09. 3-axis unified ARC 22 N and one Marquardt 490 N bipropellant thrusters, Sun and Barnes Earth sensors and two 61 Nms 2-axis gimbaled momentum bias wheels. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Ariane 44L French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 4 liquid rocket strap-ons. More...
  • Ariane 42P French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 2 solid rocket strap-ons. More...
  • Atlas IIAS American orbital launch vehicle. The Atlas II booster was 2.7-meters longer than the Atlas I and included uprated Rocketdyne MA-5A engines. The Atlas I vernier engines were replaced with a hydrazine roll control system. The Centaur stage was stretched 0.9-meters compared to the Centaur I stage. Fixed foam insulation replaced Atlas I's jettisonable insulation panels. Higher performance RL10A-4 or RL10A-4-1 engines replaced Atlas II's RL10A-3-3A. The Atlas IIAS model added four Thiokol Castor IVA solid rocket boosters (SRBs) to the core Atlas stage to augment thrust for the first two minutes of flight. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • SCC Japanese agency. Space Communications Corporation, Tokyo, Japan. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...

Superbird Chronology


1989 June 5 - . 22:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L. LV Configuration: Ariane 44L V31.
  • Superbird A - . Payload: Superbird A / DFS-Kopernikus 1. Mass: 2,489 kg (5,487 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: SCC. Program: Superbird. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: FS-1300. Completed Operations Date: 1991-02-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 20040 . COSPAR: 1989-041A. Apogee: 35,944 km (22,334 mi). Perigee: 35,931 km (22,326 mi). Inclination: 2.5000 deg. Period: 1,443.80 min. Japanese domestic business communications; 158 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 158 deg E in 1989-1990 As of 6 September 2001 located at 41.59 deg E drifting at 1.921 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 166.35W drifting at 1.878W degrees per day.

1990 February 22 - . 23:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L. LV Configuration: Ariane 44L V36. FAILURE: Exploded 100 seconds after liftoff due to water line blockage. This was caused by a piece of cloth found in the first stage Viking engine water cooling system.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Superbird B - . Nation: Japan. Agency: SCC. Program: Superbird. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: FS-1300. Decay Date: 1990-02-23 . COSPAR: F900222A. Apogee: 9.00 km (5.50 mi). Summary: Launched with BS-2X. Targeted for Geosynch orbit..

1992 February 26 - . 23:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L. LV Configuration: Ariane 44L V49.
  • Superbird B1 - . Mass: 2,560 kg (5,640 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: SCC. Program: Superbird. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 21893 . COSPAR: 1992-010A. Apogee: 36,206 km (22,497 mi). Perigee: 36,057 km (22,404 mi). Inclination: 0.9000 deg. Period: 1,453.80 min. Stationed at 162 deg E. Domestic communications. Launching organization Arianespace. Launch time 2358 GMT. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 162 deg E in 1992-1999 As of 4 September 2001 located at 19.90 deg W drifting at 4.382 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 164.51E drifting at 4.378W degrees per day.

1992 December 1 - . 22:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 42P. LV Configuration: Ariane 42P+ V55.
  • Superbird A1 - . Mass: 2,780 kg (6,120 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: SCC. Program: Superbird. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 22253 . COSPAR: 1992-084A. Apogee: 35,800 km (22,200 mi). Perigee: 35,774 km (22,228 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Stationed at 158 deg E. Domestic communications. Launching states: Japan and France. Launch time 2248 GMT. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 158 deg E in 1993-1999 As of 31 August 2001 located at 157.95 deg E drifting at 0.011 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 158.03E drifting at 0.006W degrees per day.

1997 July 28 - . 01:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas IIAS. LV Configuration: Atlas IIAS AC-133.
  • Superbird C - . Nation: Japan. Agency: SCC. Manufacturer: El Segundo. Program: Superbird. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 601. USAF Sat Cat: 24880 . COSPAR: 1997-036A. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Geosynchronous. Stationed over 144.0E Launch vehicle put payload into supersynchronous earth orbit with IFR/MRS trajectory option. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 144 deg E in 1997-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 144.00 deg E drifting at 0.014 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 143.94E drifting at 0.009W degrees per day.

2000 February 18 - . 01:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. LV Configuration: Ariane 44LP-3 V127.
  • Superbird 4 - . Mass: 4,057 kg (8,944 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: SCC. Manufacturer: El Segundo. Program: Superbird. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 601. USAF Sat Cat: 26095 . COSPAR: 2000-012A. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Provided geosynchronous communications services for the Space Communications Corporation of Japan. Carried 23 Ku-band and 6 Ka-band transponders, and was equipped with a Marquardt R4D apogee engine and XIPS ion propulsion stationkeeping system. Stationed at 162 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 162 deg E in 2000. As of 4 September 2001 located at 162.01 deg E drifting at 0.003 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 161.98E drifting at 0.004W degrees per day.

2004 April 16 - . 00:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. Launch Pad: SLC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas IIAS. LV Configuration: Atlas IIAS AC-163.
  • Superbird 6 - . Nation: Japan. Agency: JSCC. Program: Superbird. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 601. USAF Sat Cat: 28218 . COSPAR: 2004-011A. Apogee: 35,797 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,775 km (22,229 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: The satellite was to provide Ka and Ku band communications for Japan's Space Communications Corporation..

2008 August 14 - . 20:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5ECA.
  • Superbird 7 - . Nation: Japan. Agency: Arianespace. Program: Superbird. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DS2000. USAF Sat Cat: 33274 . COSPAR: 2008-038A. Apogee: 35,804 km (22,247 mi). Perigee: 35,770 km (22,220 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Ku-band Mitsubishi Electric DS2000 class satellite for Japanese television broadcasting..

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