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Ariane 5 launch pushed back
Posted: Wed, Oct 23, 2002, 7:52 PM ET (2352 GMT)
Ariane 5 launch on Flight 145 (ESA) The first launch of an upgraded version of the Ariane 5 booster has been delayed from early to late November, Arianespace announced this week. The first launch of the Ariane 5 ESC-A has been scheduled for November 8, but Arianespace announced in a press release Tuesday that the launch would now take place no earlier than November 20. No reason for the delay was given, although Space News reported that the delay would give engineers additional time to evaluate the data from a launch dress rehersal held October 15-16. This Ariane 5 features a cryogenic upper stage based on Ariane 4 technology that will allow the booster to put up to 10 tonnes into geosynchronous transfer orbit, up from about 6,000 kg with the current version. Arianespace announced earlier this month that it plans to standardize on the ESC-A as the only version of the Ariane 5 it will offer. This Ariane 5 launch will carry the Hot Bird 6 commercial communications satellite and the Stentor experimental communications satellite.
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