Arianespace to launch Japanese broadcast satellite

WASHINGTON — Arianespace on April 19 announced an agreement with Japan’s Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation and satellite manufacturer Space Systems Loral to launch the BSAT-4b satellite on an Ariane 5 rocket in 2020.

The agreement follows the launch of BSAT-4a on an Ariane 5 in September 2017.

BSAT is building up its satellite infrastructure ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, which start in July 2020. Seeking to have BSAT-4b as an in-orbit backup ahead of the games, BSAT picked SSL to build the satellite last month.

BSAT-4b will feature an identical coverage footprint over the Japanese archipelago, to ensure direct-to-home television broadcasts in bandwidth-intensive 4K and 8K ultra-high definition quality.

To be located at 110 degrees east, the satellite has an estimated mass of 3,520 kilograms and is designed for a minimum 15-year service life.

BSAT operates a fleet of three satellites, and has launched its entire fleet with European launch provider Arianespace. The BSAT-4b satellite will be Arianespace’s tenth mission for the company.


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