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Ariane 5 launches two communications satellites
Posted: Thu, Mar 8, 2001, 7:58 PM ET (0058 GMT)
BSAT-2a illustration from Orbital An Ariane 5 booster successfully launched two European and Japanese communications satellites Thursday evening. The Ariane 5, designated Ariane 509, lifted off on Flight 140 at 5:51 pm EST (2251 GMT) from Kourou, French Guiana. The booster placed into geosynchronous transfer orbit Eurobird, a satellite built by Alcatel Space for Eutelsat that will provide additional entertainment and business communications services for Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. The booster also launched BSAT-2a, a spacecraft built by Orbital Sciences Corporation that will provide direct television broadcast services for the Japanese company B-SAT. The launch was the third of the year for Arianespace and the first this year for the heavy-lift Ariane 5.
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