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Ariane 5 launches massive communications satellite
Posted: Thu, Jul 2, 2009, 3:57 AM ET (0757 GMT)
Ariane 5 ECA launch of TerreStar-1 (Arianespace) An Ariane 5 rocket launched the heaviest commercial communications satellite on Wednesday. The Ariane 5 ECA lifted off at 1:52 pm EDT (1752 GMT) Wednesday after a 99-minute delay caused by weather and placed the TerreStar-1 satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit 26 minutes later. The satellite, the sole payload carried by the rocket, weighed 6,910 kilograms at launch, making it the heaviest commercial communications satellite ever launched. The Space Systems/Loral-built satellite will be used by TerreStar Networks at 111 degrees west in GEO to provide mobile communications services across North America at S-band wavelengths, integrated with terrestrial wireless networks.
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