The first Japanese Commercial Communications satellite was launched into geotransfer orbit by an Ariane 44 LP booster. Privately owned and operated by JCSAT, a joint venture between Hughes Space and Communications Groupd, C. Itoh & Co. Ltd, and Mitsui & Co, Ltd, it provided Japanese businesses with telephone, TV, facsimile and data services. High quality video and message data was received on user antennas as small as 1.2 m. The first of the new Hughes HS 393 series, JCSAT measured 3.7 m by 10 m fully extended and with it 2.3 m antenna deployed. Body mounted solar cells provided 2,200 W; two nickel hydrogen batteries powered it in shadow. The Ku-band communications payload provided 32 channels, each able to handle one TV broadcast or 250 telephone circuits. JCSAT separated from the Ariane third stage 20 minutes after launch. The first of four apogee motor firings commenced 26.5 hrs later, boosting the satellite towards it orbital slot at 150 deg. e.
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