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Ariane launches two satellites
Posted: Sat, Aug 22, 2009, 11:41 AM ET (1541 GMT)
Ariane 5 ECA launch of JCSAT-12 and Optus D3 (ESA) An Ariane 5 rocket successfully launched a pair of communications satellites Friday night. The Ariane 5 ECA lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana at 6:09 pm EDT (2209 GMT) Friday and placed the the JCSAT-12 and Optus D3 satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbits about a half-hour later. JCSAT-12, a Lockheed Martin A2100AX satellite, weighed 4,000 kilograms at launch and carries 30 Ku-band and 12 C-band transponders. Its owner, Japanese operator SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, will use the satellite as an in-orbit backup for its existing fleet of satellite in GEO. Optus D3, an Orbital Sciences Star-2 model satellite, weighed about 2,500 kilograms at launch and carries 32 Ku-band transponders. Optus will use the satellite at 156 degrees east in GEO to provide communications services to Australia and New Zealand. The launch was the fourth Ariane 5 mission this year.
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