Flight 151 Spot on
The CNES SPOT 5 satellite was successfully placed into Sun-synchronous orbit early this morning by an Ariane 4 launcher from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
SPOT satellites have been observing the Earth since 1986. This, the fifth SPOT satellite to be launched, will ensure the continuity of SPOT Earth observation data and provide even better high-resolution images. SPOT data is used for mapping, disaster management and controlling the environment.
Also onboard were a pair of mini satellites from AMSAT France, the French chapter of the international amateur radio satellite organisation. These satellites, weighing only 6 kg, remain attached to the Ariane 4’s main stage. Once they have been turned on in approximately 10 days time they will be used to transmit recorded voice messages and digital telemetry data.
The launcher used was an Ariane 42P vehicle equipped with two solid strap-on boosters. Liftoff from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, was at 01:31 GMT (22:31 local time on 3 May) This is the sixth Ariane launch this year. Flight 152, the next launch from Europe’s spaceport, is scheduled to take place on 5 June.