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Ariane 4 launches Intelsat 906
Posted: Fri, Sep 6, 2002, 8:53 AM ET (1253 GMT)
Ariane 44L file photo (Arianespace) One of the last remaining Ariane 4 boosters successfully launched the latest Intelsat communications satellite early Friday. The Ariane 44L lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana at 2:44 am EDT (0644 GMT), and placed into geosynchronous transfer orbit the Intelsat 906 spacecraft. Intelsat 906 is the latest in the Intelsat 9 series of communications satellites; the Space Systems/Loral 1300-series spacecraft will operate from 64 degrees east. The launch is the tenth this year for Arianespace and the second in as many weeks. The launch also used one of the last of the old Ariane 4 launch vehicles: only two Ariane 4s remain as Arianespace switches over entirely to the Ariane 5. The next Ariane 5 launch, scheduled for this fall, will be the first Ariane 5 to use a more powerful upper stage that can place up to 10,000 kg into GTO.
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