Mission typeCommunication
OperatorSKY Perfect JSAT Group
COSPAR ID1997-036A[1]
SATCAT no.24880[2]
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass3,130 kg (6,900 lb)
Dimensions26.2 m × 7.5 m × 4.9 m (86 ft × 25 ft × 16 ft) with solar panels and antennas deployed.
Power4.5 kW
Start of mission
Launch date01:15:00, July 28, 1997 (UTC) (1997-07-28T01:15:00Z)[1][3]
RocketAtlas IIAS
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-36B
ContractorInternational Launch Services
End of mission
DisposalGraveyard orbit
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeGraveyard orbit
Semi-major axis42,505 km
Perigee altitude36,122.8 km
Apogee altitude36,145.3 km
Period1,453.5 minutes
Epoch00:00:00UTC 2016-08-26[4]
BandKu band: 4 × 54 Mhz, 4 × 36 Mhz and 16 × 27 Mhz[5]
TWTA power90 Watts

Superbird-C, also known as Superbird-3[6] or Superbird-A3,[7] was a geostationary communications satellite ordered and operated by Space Communications Corporation (SCC) that was designed and manufactured by Hughes (now Boeing) on the HS-601 platform. It has a pure Ku band payload and was used fill the position at 144°East longitude. It provided television signals and business communications services throughout Japan, southern and eastern Asia, and Hawaii.[2][8][9]

Satellite description

The spacecraft was designed and manufactured by then Hughes (now Boeing) on the HSS-601 satellite bus. It had a launch mass of 3,150 kg (6,940 lb) and a 13-year design life. When stowed for launch, it measured 4 m × 3.8 m × 2.4 m (13.1 ft × 12.5 ft × 7.9 ft). It had two wings with four solar panels each, that generated 4.5 kW at the end of its design life. When fully deployed, the solar panels spanned 26.2 m (86 ft), with its antennas in fully extended configuration it was 7.5 m (25 ft) wide.[8][9] It had a 29-cell NiH2 battery with a power charge of 200Ah.[9]

Its propulsion system was composed of an R-4D-11-300 LAE with a thrust of 490 N (110 lbf). It also used had 12 22 N (4.9 lbf) bipropellant thrusters for station keeping and attitude control. It included enough propellant for orbit circularization and 13 years of operation.[9]

Its payload is composed of two 2.2 m (85 in) dual-gridded reflectors and twenty four Ku band transponders powered by TWTA with and output power of 90 Watts. It can configure two 54 MHz transponders into one 114 MHz with an effective 180 Watts.[8][9][5]

The Ku band footprint covered Japan, southern and eastern Asia, and Hawaii.[9]


Space Communications Corporation (SCC) was founded in 1985, the same year as the original companies that later formed JSAT.[10] SCC switched satellite suppliers and on 1995 ordered a satellite from Boeing, Superbird-C.[8]

On July 28, 1997 at 01:15:00 UTC, Superbird-C was orbited by an Atlas IIAS launched from Cape Canaveral LC-36B.[8]

Superbird-C It was replaced by Superbird-C2 during 2008, at which point it was decommissioned.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Superbird-C Description". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. 27 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  2. ^ a b "Superbird 3". Satbeams. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  3. ^ "Superbird-C Launch Information". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. 27 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  4. ^ "SUPERBIRD C". Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  5. ^ a b "Main specifications of SUPERBIRD-C". Space Communications Corporation. Archived from the original on 2004-06-04. Retrieved 2016-08-26.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c d e Krebs, Gunter Dirk (2016-04-21). "Superbird C". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Superbird C". Boeing Satellite Development Center. Archived from the original on 2009-12-30. Retrieved 2016-08-26.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "History". SKY Perfect JSAT Holdings Inc. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  11. ^ "Superbird". Global Security. Retrieved 2016-08-26.