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JCSAT-16 will serve as an on-orbit spare for JSAT’s fleet, joining the existing JCSAT-RA spacecraft in this capacity. It had been intended to be stationed at a longitude of 150 degrees East, on standby should its services be needed. However, it is now expected to be pressed into action immediately after the launch of the Superbird 8 satellite was delayed by up to two years.

Superbird 8 had been scheduled for launch last month, but was damaged en-route to the launch site; a tarpaulin was left covering vents on its shipping container, which prevented the container being maintained at a constant pressure while in flight.

Superbird 8 was intended to operate at a longitude of 162 degrees East, replacing the sixteen-year-old Superbird B2 which has already exceeded its design life.

JCSAT-16 will occupy this position until Superbird 8 has been repaired and launched – which is currently expected to be 2018 – before reverting to its reserve role. JCSAT-16 is designed to provide fifteen years of service – a typical lifespan for a modern communications satellite.

Alternate Names

  • 41729
  • JCSAT16

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2016-08-14
Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 Full Thrust
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (Japan)


  • Communications

Additional Information

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

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