Ariane 4 gets it right once again
Kourou, 23 February, 03:59 Flight 148 lights the sky as it lifts off from the Ariane 4 launch pad at the Guiana Space Centre. This marks the 109th launch for this trusty Ariane launcher.
On board is an Intelsat satellite, the 19th to be placed in orbit for the company by an Ariane launcher. Now safely circling the Earth in geostationary orbit, this Intelsat 904 satellite is a new addition to Intelsat's fleet of satellites that are working 24 hours a day to provide internet, broadcast and telephony services for Europe, Africa, Central Asia, the Far East and Australia. The Ariane 4 launcher used was an Ariane 44L, fitted with four liquid-propellant strap-on boosters.
The next flight scheduled for 28 February (V145) will see Ariane 5 back to work. On board this time will be Envisat, the latest and heaviest ESA Earth observation satellite. Once in sun-synchronous orbit, the 10 different instruments on board will keep a close watch on the Earth below, providing vital information on the land, sea, ice and atmosphere for the world's scientific community and assisting civil security authorities to monitor disasters.