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Ariane 4 launches two military satellites
Posted: Thu, Feb 8, 2001, 12:45 AM ET (0545 GMT)
Ariane flight 139 illustration An Ariane 4 booster successfully launched two European military communications satellites Wednesday night. The Ariane 44L, a version of the Ariane 4 that uses four liquid-propellant strap-on boosters, lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana at 6:05 pm EST (2305 GMT). The launch was delayed by about 37 minutes because of a telemetry problems with one of the booster's payloads, the Skynet 4F British military communications satellite. In addition to Skynet 4F the Ariane launched Sicral, Italy's first military satellite, which will provide communications services for the Italian defense ministry. The launch, the second of the year for Arianespace, was also the first time an Ariane placed two military satellites in orbit on a single mission. The next Ariane flight is scheduled for early March, when an Ariane 5 will launch a European and Japanese communications satellites.
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