Beyond Verses

My blog that specialize in Space Science and Latest news from NASA

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ariane makes final launch of 2008

Europe's Ariane 5 rocket has wrapped up its 2008 campaign with another dual launch from the Kourou spaceport.

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The vehicle was carrying two satellites into orbit for the Eutelsat company.

The Hot Bird 9 and W2M platforms were put on a path to geostationary orbits, to provide a mix of TV, radio and other telecommunications services.

It was the sixth flight for an Ariane 5, in a year that also saw the rocket start to service the International Space Station (ISS).

Its primary role, though, will continue to be as launcher of commercial telecommunications satellites.

Lift-off for the Eutelsat mission was delayed by technical problems and left the ground at 2235 GMT, about three-quarters of an hour later than planned.

It is the first time that two platforms belonging to one of the major operators have been launched on the same rocket.

Eutelsat CEO Giuliano Berretta is a big admirer of the "excellent" Ariane; he is a frequent customer.

But in a wide-ranging interview ahead of Saturday's flight, he said satellite operators wanted to see more competition among launchers, to bring down prices. 

This article taken from BBC web site

by Jonathan.Amos-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk

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