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Ariane launches Thaicom 4
Posted: Thu, Aug 11, 2005, 10:45 AM ET (1445 GMT)
Ariane 5 launch of Thaicom 4 (ESA/CNES/Arianespace) An Ariane 5 successfully launched a Thai communications satellite early Thursday. The Ariane 5G lifted off from the Kourou launch site in French Guiana at 4:20 am EDT (0820 GMT) and placed its payload, Thaicom 4, into a geosychronous transfer orbit 28 minutes later. The launch was delayed over an hour and a half while technicians resolved a sensor glitch with an engine igniter system that stopped the countdown 15 seconds before launch. The Space Systems/Loral-built satellite, weighing nearly 6,500 kilograms, is the largest commercial GEO communications satellite ever launched. Formerly known as iPSTAR, Thaicom 4 will be used by Thai satellite operator Shin Satellite broadband data services for much of the Asia Pacific region from 120 degrees east longitude.
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