Flight 149 - 4th successful launch of 2002
Carrying two satellites, Flight 149 climbed into the sky early this morning from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana. Then, approximately 27 minutes after liftoff, it successfully placed the satellites into geostationary orbit.
An Ariane 4 launcher with four liquid propellant strap-on boosters (Ariane 44L) was used to put two satellites into orbit. This is the third Ariane 4 launch this year, making a record-breaking 110 launches for this, the most successful Ariane launcher ever built.
Both the satellites on board were built by Boeing Satellite Systems Inc. but for two different clients. The first was for the Japanese company JSAT Corp, a leading satcom operator in Asia; once this is in operation it will provide telecommunications services for Japan, Asia, Oceania and Hawaii. The second, an ASTRA 3A satellite for the Luxembourg-based company SES ASTRA, will provide high-power cable and direct-to-home broadband services for German-speaking Europe.
The next Ariane 4 launch is expected to take place in just over two weeks time.