pending ariane launch

chris kalmar (
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 22:02:55 -0600

To whom it may concern:
Space calendar had this down for wednesday some time ago.

05:13 PM ET 01/29/97

Launch of heaviest Ariane rocket set for Thursday

    CAYENNE, French Guiana, Jan 29 (Reuter) - Western Europe's
93rd Ariane rocket is scheduled to blast off from French Guiana
on Thursday carrying its heaviest ever payload, weighing over
4.9 tonnes (10,800 lb), Arianespace said on Wednesday.
    Two satellites will be launched aboard an Ariane 44L rocket
equipped with four liquid strap-on boosters -- the most powerful
in the Ariane-4 rocket series -- from the European Space Agency
(ESA) launch centre in Kourou, French Guiana on the northeast
coast of South America.
    The launch is set for between 2204 and 2332 GMT.
    The GE-2 satellite on board, built by Lockheed Martin Astro
Space for California-based GE American Communications,
weighs 2.649 tonnes (5,839 lb).
    Argentina's first telecommunications satellite, NAHUEL-1A,
was built for the Buenos Aires-based company Nahuelsat. It
weighs 1.79 tonnes (3,946 lb).
    An additional 460 kg (1,014 lb) is used to separate the two
satellites inside the rocket.
    Arianespace leads the commercial satellite launch market,
having successfully placed 15 heavy satellites into orbit in
1996 aboard 10 Ariane rockets.
    The company said it has firm orders to launch 42 satellites
worth an estimated $3.5 billion.