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Ariane launches Indian communications satellite
Posted: Wed, Jan 23, 2002, 11:19 PM ET (0419 GMT)
Ariane Flight 143 launch (Arianespace) An Ariane 4 booster successfully launched an Indian communications satellite Wednesday evening after overcoming a last-second computer glitch. The Ariane 42L lifted off at 6:47 pm EST (2347 GMT) from Kourou, French Guiana. It placed the INSAT 3C spacecraft 21 minutes after liftoff. Launch was scheduled for nearly an hour earlier — 5:53 pm EST (2253 GMT) — but the countdown was stopped at T-11 seconds because of a computer problem. The problem was resolved and the countdown reset to T-6 minutes before proceeding. INSAT 3C, built by the Indian Space Research Organisation, will be used to provide communications services and TV broadcasts for the Indian subcontinent from its position at 74 degrees east longitude. The launch was the first of the year for Arianespace, and the second launch worldwide in 2002. After the launch Arianespace officials announced that they have scheduled the launch of an Ariane 5 carrying ESA's Envisat earth sciences satellite for February 28. It will be the first Ariane 5 launch since a July 2001 launch failure.
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