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Ariane launches two satellites
Posted: Sun, Aug 7, 2011, 9:21 AM ET (1321 GMT)
Ariane 5 launch of Astra 1N and BSAT-3c (Arianespace) A long-delayed Ariane 5 successfully launched two communications satellites on Saturday. The Ariane 5 ECA lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana, at 6:52 pm EDT (2252 GMT) Saturday and placed the Astra 1N and BSAT-3c/JSAT-110R satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit about a half hours later. Astra 1N, an EADS Astrium Eurostar E3000 model, weighed about 5,350 kilograms at launch and carries 52 Ku-band transponders. It will be used by European satellite company SES to provide direct-to-home TV services to Europe from 19.2 degrees east in GEO. BSAT-3c/JSAT-110R, a Lockheed Martin A2100 model, weighed 2,910 kilograms at launch and carries 24 Ku-band transponders. It will be operated jointly by Japanese operators B-SAT Corporation and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation to provide communications services to Japan from 110 degrees east. The launch had been scheduled for the beginning of last month but was postponed because of a problem with the rocket's upper stage, which had to be replaced. A launch attempt on Friday was also postponed because of poor weather.
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