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Ariane 5 launches communications and weather satellites
Posted: Fri, Jul 26, 2013, 9:49 AM ET (1349 GMT)
Ariane 5 launch of Alphasat and INSAT-3D (Arianespace) An Ariane 5 rocket successfully launched a large commercial communications satellite and an Indian meteorological satellite on Thursdays. The Ariane 5 ECA lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana, at 3:54 pm EDT (1954 GMT) Thursdays, and released the Alphasat and INSAT-3D satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbits about a half hour later. Alphasat, also known as I-4A F4, was built by Astrium as part of a public-private partnership with mobile satellite company Inmarsat and ESA to demonstrate a next-generate large satellite bus. The satellite, weighing 6,650 kilograms at launch, will provide mobile communications services across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. INSAT-3D, built by the Indian space agency ISRO, weighed 2,200 kilograms at launch; that satellite will provide meteorological data for the Indian subcontinent.
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