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Ariane-5 ECA Launches A Weather Satellite


Paris (AFP) Dec 22, 2005
An Ariane-5 ECA launcher carrying Europe's latest weather satellite lifted off from the Kourou base in French Guiana late Wednesday, European group Arianespace said.

The latest Meteosat second generation satellite, MSG-2, made by Alcatel Alenia Space lifted off atop its Ariane rocket at 7:33 pm (2233 GMT). It is scheduled to become operational next June under the name Meteosat-9.

It is to be operated by the European organisation EUMETSAT which maintains and exploits meteorological satellites.

"MSG satellites are at the moment the best in the world in the area of geostationary meteorological imaging," Meteo-France, one of the members of EUMETSAT said.

"They allow pictures to be taken every quarter of an hour against 30 minutes for the first generation Meteosat that they replace."

It is to be operated by EUMETSAT, which maintains and uses meteorological satellites.

The MSG programme involves four satellites and costs billion euros.

They are scheduled up to 2018 provide meteorological data, surveillance of the climate and the environment.

India's heaviest satellite launched successfully
Bangalore, India (AFP) Dec 22 -- India's heaviest satellite has been launched successfully by an European Ariane-5 rocket from French Guiana, the Indian Space Research Organisation announced Thursday

The rocket launched late Wednesday placed the INSAT-4 satellite along with a European meteorological satellite, EUMETSAT, into orbit about 30 minutes after lift-off, the organisation said in a statement.

It said the satellite, weighing 3,080 kilograms (6,776-pounds), would meet the needs of direct-to-home broadcasters and communication services.

"The master control facility acquired the first signals from the satellite. Initial checks indicated normal health of the satellite," the statement said.

"When the satellite reaches near geosynchronous orbit, deployment of its solar panels will be carried out...and this will be followed by trim manoeuvres to take the satellite to the designated orbital slot."

India has the world's biggest civilian cluster of remote sensing satellites.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Ariane 5 ECA Launches A Weather Satellite
Paris (AFP) Dec 22, 2005
An Ariane-5 ECA launcher carrying Europe's latest weather satellite lifted off from the Kourou base in French Guiana late Wednesday, European group Arianespace said.

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