Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mitsubishi Launches First Ever All Japanese made Communication Satellite, Superbird-7

Tokyo, Japan – Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (President and CEO: Setsuhiro Shimomura)announced today it has successfully launched Superbird-7, which is Japan’s first domestically produced commercial communications satellite, and the next-generation communications satellite for Space Communications Corporation (SCC).
Superbird-7 was successfully launched from Guiana Space Center, French Guiana at 5:44 a.m. on August 15 (Japan time) using Arianespace’s launch vehicle, Ariane 5. The satellite separated from the launcher at 6:09 a.m. and succeeded in spreading its solar paddle at 7:02 a.m.
The Superbird-7 will be positioned into stationary orbit 36,000 kilometers above ground level and Mitsubishi Electric will continue in-orbit testing until September 2008.
Superbird-7 was made at Mitsubishi Electric’s Kamakura Works in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture. It uses Mitsubishi Electric’s original DS2000 satellite bus platform, which was developed based on the Engineering Test Satellite-8 (ETS-8), made for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The DS2000 is also currently used in the Multi-functional Transport Satellite-2 (MTSAT-2), made for the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan and the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The well-equipped facilities at Kamakura Works have enabled Mitsubishi Electric to efficiently conduct its production and system tests in a single building, with a variety of testing facilities for satellite production such as a space chamber that simulates the high vacuum and extremely low temperatures of space, vibration test equipment, an acoustic test room and a compact antenna testing range. The Kamakura Works also has all the necessary satellite control equipment to check the satellite performance and functions in stationary orbit after the launch and separation of the launch vehicle.
Details of the Superbird-7 Launch
The agreement with SCC is for a ‘delivery in orbit’ (DIO) contract, in which Mitsubishi Electric will manage the project entirely from satellite design, production and launch, installation of satellite control equipment, to final extensive in-orbit testing prior to final handover to the customer. Mitsubishi Electric will hand the satellite over to SCC after the in-orbit testing and also, provide full operational support during its 15 year-life span.
To date, all 18 satellites currently operated by Japanese broadcast and communications companies have been US-made. Superbird-7 will be the first Japan-made commercial satellite to be launched into orbit.


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