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Ariane launches two communications satellites
Posted: Fri, Feb 8, 2013, 5:59 AM ET (1059 GMT)
Ariane 5 launch Amazonas-3 and Azerspace/Africasat-1a (Arianespace) An Ariane 5 rocket launched a pair of communications satellites on Thursday for customers in Spain and Azerbaijan. The Ariane 5 ECA rocket lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana, at 4:36 pm EST (2136 GMT) Thursday and released the Amazonas-3 and Azerspace/Africasat-1a satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbits about a half-hour later. Amazonas-3, a 6,265-kilogram satellite built by Space Systems/Loral for Spanish operator Hispasat, will provide C-, Ka-, and Ku-band communications services for Europe, the Americas, and North Africa. Azerspace/Africasat-1a, a 3,000-kilogram satellite built by Orbital Sciences Corporation for Azercosmos 0JSC and the Azerbaijan government, will provide services for Azerbaijan, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. The launch is the first of six Ariane missions planned for 2013.
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