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Ariane launches communications satellite
Posted: Tue, Apr 16, 2002, 11:48 PM ET (0348 GMT)
Ariane 44L file photo (Arianespace) An Ariane 4 successfully launched a communications satellite for New Skies Satellites Tuesday evening on the 150th Ariane mission ever. The Ariane 44L, the version of the Ariane 4 with four liquid-propellant strap-on boosters, lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana at 7:02 pm EDT (2302 GMT) Tuesday. The launch was delayed by about ten minutes because of a minor technical issue. The booster placed into geostationary transfer orbit NSS-7, a Lockheed Martin A2100AX-model spacecraft. NSS-7 will be positioned at 21.5 degrees west longitude to provide video and data services for the Americas, Africa, and Europe. The spacecraft will replace the existing NSS-K spacecraft and allow another, NSS-803, to move to a different orbital slot. Tuesday's launch was the fifth for Arianespace this year. The next launch, of the SPOT 5 remote sensing satellite, is scheduled for May 3.
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