Superbird-A & DFS-1

Launch Time
Mon Jun 05, 1989 22:37 UTC

Maiden flight of Ariane 44L. Flight V31.


Ariane 44L
Image Credit: Arianespace
Status: Retired
Liftoff Thrust: 6,000 kN
Payload to GTO: 4,720 kg
Stages: 3
Strap-ons: 4
Rocket Height: 58.72 m

Mission Details


Superbird-A, also identified as Superbird-1 before launch, was a geostationary communications satellite designed and manufactured by Ford Aerospace (now SSL MDA) on the SSL 1300 platform. It was originally ordered by Space Communications Corporation (SCC), which later merged into the SKY Perfect JSAT Group. It had a mixed Ku band, Ka band, and X band payload and operated on the 158°E longitude.

It was ordered in 1985 along with Superbird-B, Superbird-A1, and Superbird-B1 on the very first order of the SSL 1300 platform. It was also the first satellite of SCC and the second commercial satellite of Japan after JCSAT-1. It was used for video distribution, news gathering, remote publishing, and high-definition TV service to the main islands of Japan and Okinawa.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 2,489.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


DFS-Kopernikus (meaning Deutscher Fernmeldesatellit Kopernikus) was the name of three geostationary satellites of Deutsche Bundespost and later Deutsche Telekom AG. They are no longer in use.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 1,416.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


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



41st orbital launch attempt


22nd mission
4th mission of 1989
20th successful mission
12th consecutive successful mission

Ariane 4

4th mission
2nd mission of 1989
4th successful mission