A European Ariane 5 ECA on flight VA252 successfully launched the JCSAT 17 and GEO Kompsat 2B satellites into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) at 2218 GMT on 18 February from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. The first satellite deployed was JCSAT 17. With a launch mass of 5,857 kg the satellite will be placed at 136 degrees East to provide communications services in S, C and Ku bands for the Sky Perfect JCsat Corporation based in Japan. Second satellite deployed was the GEO Kompsat 2b, which had a launch mass of 3,379 kg. It will eventually be placed in geostationary orbit over 128.2 degrees East in order to provide Meteorological, Space weather, Earth and Ocean monitoring services for South Korea.

Ariane 5 ECA launches on flight VA252. Courtesy: Arianespace