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Superbird A, A1, B, B1

Superbird A [SSL]

Satellite news gathering, cable television distribution, video conferencing, newspaper transmission, business applications, and banking services are being delivered to Japanese customers by the two SUPERBIRD satellites built for Space Communications Corporation (SCC) of Japan by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L).

The geostationary SUPERBIRD has 23 transponders that operate in the Ku-band, at 50 and 85 Watts, three Ka-band transponders at 29 Watts, and two X-band transponders at 47 Watts. Total on-board prime dc power is 4,000 Watts.

SUPERBIRD-1 (A1) was completed in 23 months and delivered on orbit in March, 1992. SUPERBIRD-2 (B1) was completed in 19 months and delivered on orbit in February, 1993, both from the European Space Center at Kourou, French Guyana. Control after launch was provided by SS/L's Mission Control Center in Palo Alto, Calif., until completion of check-out in orbit, after which control was passed to SCC.

The SUPERBIRD spacecraft is based on SS/L's threeaxis, body-stabilized SSL-1300 bus, whose modular design has proven its worth during some 275 years of cumulative on-orbit service, close to 45% of the total of 630 plus years amassed by SS/L satellites to date.

The SSL-1300 buses achieve long useful orbital life - in this case 10 years - through use of a bipropellant propulsion system and a momentumbias system for excellent stationkeeping and orbital stability. Solar arrays and nickel-hydrogen batteries provide uninterrupted electrical power.

Nation: Japan
Type / Application: Communication
Operator: Space Communications Corporation (SCC)
Contractors: Space Systems/Loral (SS/L)
Equipment: 23 Ku-band transponders, 3 Ka-band transponders, 2 X-band transponders
Configuration: SSL-1300
Propulsion: R-4D-11
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 10 years
Mass: 2800 kg
Orbit: GEO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Superbird A 1989-041A 05.06.1989 Ko ELA-2 Ariane-44L H10 with DFS-Kopernikus 1
Superbird A1 1992-084A 01.12.1992 Ko ELA-2 Ariane-42P H10+
Superbird B 1990-F01 22.02.1990 Ko ELA-2 F Ariane-44L H10 with BS 2x
Superbird B1 1992-010A 26.02.1992 Ko ELA-2 Ariane-44L H10 with Arabsat 1C


Further Superbird missions:

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