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Ariane launches two satellites
Posted: Fri, Oct 29, 2010, 8:21 AM ET (1221 GMT)
Ariane 5 ECA launch of Eutelsat W3B and BSAT-3b (Arianespace) An Ariane 5 rocket successfully launched a pair of communications satellites for European and Japanese customers. The Ariane 5 ECA lifted off from the spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 5:51 pm EDT (2151 GMT) Thursday and placed the Eutelsat W3B and BSAT-3b satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit about a half-hour later. Eutelsat W3B, a Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000 C3 model, weighed 5,400 kilograms at launch and carries a payload of Ku-band transponders; it will operate from 16 degrees east in GEO. BSAT-3b is a Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems A2100A model weighing 2,060 kilograms at launch and carrying Ku-band transponders; it will operate from 110 degrees east in GEO providing direct-to-home television transmissions for Japanese firm Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation. The launch was the fourth Ariane 5 mission, of six currently scheduled, in 2010.
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