Launch Time
Sat Nov 21, 1987 02:19 UTC

Flight V20.


Ariane 2
Image Credit: Arianespace
Status: Retired
Liftoff Thrust: 2,580 kN
Payload to GTO: 2,175 kg
Stages: 3
Strap-ons: 0
Rocket Height: 49.0 m

Mission Details


V-SAT 1 or TVSAT-1 was a West German communications satellite that was to have been operated by Deutsche Bundespost. It was intended to be used to provide television broadcast services to Europe, however, it failed before entering service. It was constructed by Aérospatiale, based on the Spacebus 300 satellite bus, and carried five NATO J-band (IEEE Ku band) transponders. At launch, it had a mass of 2,077 kilograms (4,579 lb), and an expected operational lifespan of eight years.

TV-SAT 1 was launched by Arianespace using an Ariane 2 rocket flying from ELA-1 at Kourou. The launch took place at 02:19:00 GMT on 21 November 1987. It was the first Spacebus 300 satellite to be launched. Immediately after launch, one of its solar panels failed to deploy, and as a result of this the main uplink antenna, which was located behind the solar panel, could not deploy either. This failure was later established to have been the result of two hold-down bolts, which should have been removed prior to launch, being left on the satellite.

Despite the failure, TVSAT-1 was placed into a geosynchronous orbit at a longitude of 19.2° West. It was briefly used for a series of tests to verify the satellite's systems before it was retired to a graveyard orbit.

TV-Sat 2 followed on 8 August 1989.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 2,077.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


ELA-2, Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana, France



99th orbital launch attempt


12th mission
2nd mission of 1987
10th successful mission
2nd consecutive successful mission

Ariane 2

2nd mission
1st mission of 1987
1st successful mission
1st consecutive successful mission