European rocket launches Japanese, French satellites

18 Aug 2006

An Ariane-5 rocket successfully placed two international communications satellites into orbit from a launch site in South America, the European space consortium said.
The Ariane-5 rocket cruised through clear skies from the Kourou launch center, 65 kilometers from the French Guiana capital of Cayenne.
The rocket's trajectory was controlled by two onboard computers. Roughly seven seconds after ignition of the cryogenic engine, two solid-propellant boosters were ignited, enabling liftoff.
The rocket released Japan's JCSAT-10 telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit about 27 minutes after takeoff. The release of the Syracuse 3B satellite, for the French Ministry of Defense, followed five minutes later.
In post-launch comments at the control center, the Jean-Yves Le Gall, CEO of the commercial launch services company applauded Arianespace's third heavy-lift mission of the year.
'Tonight's success is particularly exemplary, and perfectly illustrates why we have launched a total of 237 satellites during the past 26 years _ which, by far, is a world record,' Le Gall said.

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