Arabsat 5A & COMS 1 (Ariane 5 launched on June 26, 2010)
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Europe's Ariane 5 commercial launcher carried out another uneventful trek to orbit Saturday night, successfully deploying a powerful broadcasting bird for the Arab world and a unique spacecraft to see and communicate with South Korea.
Blastoff at sunset. Credit: Arianespace
The rocket roared away from a jungle launch base on the northeastern coast of South America at 2141 GMT (5:41 p.m. EDT) atop the thrust produced by its hydrogen-fueled main engine and twin solid boosters.
Tracking eastward across the Atlantic Ocean and then Africa during the half-hour flight, the cryogenic upper stage delivered the required push to reach a geosynchronous transfer orbit with Arabsat 5A and COMS, the Communication, Ocean and Meteorological Satellite.
"This launch was performed with a delay and after several attempts. Nevertheless, it's a perfect launch," said Jean-Yves Le Gall, chairman and CEO of Arianespace. "It shows clearly that our quality policy is exactly what you expect from us."
"Better being late than never, but we're glad we made it," said Khalid Balkheyour, Arabsat president and CEO.
"We've been waiting for this launch for quite some time. Space technology is complex, we have to be careful with what we are doing. And I'd really like to thank Ariane, led by Mr. Le Gall, and all his team."
"Since the creation of our company 30 years ago, we have successfully launched 281 satellites," Le Gall said. "And this will continue, as our order book today has 34 satellites for launch to geostationary orbit, along with six Ariane 5 missions with the Automated Transfer Vehicle, and 17 launches to be performed by Soyuz.
"And since the beginning of 2010, we already have signed nine new contracts - the latest of which is with the Argentinean operator Arsat, which I am announcing tonight as a new contract."
"Europe's Ariane 5 commercial launcher carried out another uneventful trek to orbit Saturday night, successfully deploying a powerful broadcasting bird for the Arab world and a unique spacecraft to see and communicate with South Korea.
Source: Spaceflight Now, "Ariane 5 launches Arab and South Korean satellites"