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Ariane 5 launches Anik F2
Posted: Sun, Jul 18, 2004, 11:16 AM ET (1516 GMT)
Ariane 5 launch of Anik F2 (Arianespace) After near a week of delays, an Ariane 5 launched a Canadian communications satellite Saturday night. The Ariane 5G lifted off from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana at 8:44 pm EDT (0044 GMT Sunday). Its payload, the Anik F2 communications satellite, separated from the booster 28 minutes later after entering geosynchronous transfer orbit. The satellite, a Boeing 702 model, is the largest commercial communications satellite ever launched, weighing over 5,950 kg at launch. The spacecraft carries 38 Ka-band, 32 Ku-band, and 24 C-band transponders, which will be used in part to provide two-way high-speed Internet service in North America from its position at 111.1 degrees west longitude. The launch was the four attempt in nearly a week. The original launch attempt Monday was delayed because of a technical problem, while consecutive attempts Thursday and Friday were scrubbed because of weather and ground equipment problems, respectively. The launch is the second this year for the Ariane 5, after the launch of ESA's Rosetta mission in early March.
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