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Superbird 1



Superbird 1, a Japanese communications satellite, was launched by an Ariane 4 rocket, version 44L, from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana. Owned by the Space Communications Corporation (SCC), Superbird 1 provided video distribution, news gathering, remote publishing and high definition TV service to the main islands of Japan and Okinawa. The satellite was geared primarily to the business community. It carried 19 Ku-band and 10 Ka-band transponders, with 3 of the Ka-band channels beamed to the Tokyo area exclusively. Built by Ford Aerospace, it was the first of 2 SCC commsats. Based on Ford's INTELSAT 5 series, it was box-shaped with antennas mounted on 3 sides. It measured 2.41 by 2.58 x 2.20 m. Deployed solar arrays spanned 20.3 m and provided a maximum of 3,984 W of power. Two nickel hydrogen batteries supplemented power during eclipse. Placed into an initial 185 x 35,981-km orbit by Ariane, Superbird was subsequently boosted to geosynchronous orbit by 3 apogee motor firings. Stationed at 158 deg. e, it has a 10-year life expentancy.

Alternate Names

  • 20040
  • Superbird-A
  • Superbird1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1989-06-05
Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L
Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana
Mass: 2489.2 kg
Nominal Power: 3984 W

Funding Agency

  • Space Communication Corporation (SCC) (Japan)


  • Communications

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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