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Ariane 4 launches Intelsat 904
Posted: Sat, Feb 23, 2002, 3:37 AM ET (0837 GMT)
Ariane 44L file photo (Arianespace) An Ariane 4 booster successfully launched an Intelsat communications satellite early Saturday. The Ariane 44L lifted off at 1:59 am EST (0659 GMT) from Kourou, French Guiana. Its payload, the Intelsat 904 spacecraft, separated from the booster's upper stage 21 minutes after launch. Intelsat 904, built by Space Systems/Loral, will provide video and data services for Asia, Africa, and Europe from its position in geosynchronous orbit at 60 degrees east longitude. The launch was scheduled for Wednesday morning but was delayed three days in order to give technicians time to check an issue with the booster's payload fairing and also to catch up in launch preparations. The launch was the second this year for Arianespace as well as the 67th consecutive successful Ariane 4 launch. The next Ariane launch is still scheduled for February 28, when the Ariane 5 returns to service to launch ESA's Envisat earth sciences spacecraft.
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