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Ariane launches two satellites
Posted: Sun, Mar 12, 2006, 11:04 AM ET (1604 GMT)
Ariane 5 launch of Hot Bird 7A and Spainsat (Arianespace) After three previous attempts were scrubbed in recent weeks, an Ariane 5 successfully launched two communications satellites Saturday night. The Ariane 5 ECA lifted off at 5:32 pm EST (2232 GMT) Saturday and placed its payload, the Hot Bird 7A and Spainsat spacecraft, into a geosynchronous transfer orbit a little over a half-hour later. Hot Bird 7A, built by Alcatel Alenia for Eutelsat, is a 4,100-kg satellite that will operate from 13 degrees east, carries 38 Ku-band transponders to provide TV and radio broadcasting services to Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Spainsat, built by Space Systems/Loral for Hidesat, is a 3,700-kilogram satellite with 13 X-band and 1 Ka-band transponders that will be used for military communications for the Spanish government. The launch took place on the fourth attempt; three previous attempts, dating back to February 21, were delayed because of a variety of ground equipment, satellite, and upper stage problems.
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