Arianespace successfully
placed a dual payload into orbit for Europe today, demonstrating the
launcher’s capability to pair up all types of satellites on a single mission.

Flight 155 carried the Atlantic Bird(TM) 1 telecommunications satellite
built by Alenia Spazio for EUTELSAT, along with the MSG-1 weather satellite
for the European Meteorological Satellite (EUMETSAT) organization.

Ariane 5’s 13th launch, and Arianespace’s 9th mission in 2002 Arianespace
continued its string of flawless performances with its ninth successful launch
in 2002 — a year in which three Ariane 5s and six Ariane 4s were launched in
six and a half months.

Flight 155 was the 10th commercial mission for the Ariane 5 launcher under
Arianespace’s management, confirming the leadership of this capable European
vehicle over competing systems. This success underscores the pivotal role
played by Arianespace in guaranteeing independent access to space for all
operators, whether commercial, scientific or governmental agencies.

Arianespace has signed nine launch contracts so far this year. The
commercial success is a further recognition of the top-flight service quality
delivered by Ariane launchers, and clearly establishes Ariane as the benchmark
launch system worldwide.

Commenting on this latest success, Arianespace Chief Operating Officer
Jean-Yves Le Gall said: “Tonight’s successful launch follows our equally
successful mission in July, again underscoring the impressive quality and
availability of the Ariane 5 launcher. These successes are the fruit of
sustained investments in both technical and human resources.”

  • Upcoming launches
  • Ariane 4
  • Flight 154 is slated for September 6, 2002. An Ariane 44L will boost the

Intelsat 906 telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.

Ariane 5

The launch preparation campaign of the next Ariane 5 has started in Kourou
on August 22nd. A 10-ton payload lift version of the Ariane 5 launcher is
slated to carry out another European mission, launching the HOTBIRD(TM) 7
satellite for EUTELSAT and the Stentor satellite for the French CNES space

Flight 155 at a glance

Flight 155 was performed by an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou,
French Guiana. Liftoff was on August 28, 2002 at 10:45mn.10sec p.m. local
time in Kourou (22H45mn.10sec. Universal Time, 6:45mn.10sec p.m. in
Washington, D.C., and on August 29 at 0:45mn.10sec a.m. in Paris).

Provisional parameters at injection of the storable propellant upper stage

  • Perigee: 579.3 km for a target of 579.8 km. (+/-4km.)
  • Apogee: 35,929 km for a target of 35,994 km. (+/-260 km.)
  • Inclination: 5.49 degrees for a target of 5.50 degrees (+/-0.07 degrees)

Atlantic Bird(TM) 1, built by Alenia Spazio of the Finmeccanica group, is
designed for telecommunications, image transmission and Internet services.
Weighing about 2,700 kg. at liftoff, it carries 24 Ku-band transponders, and
will provide coverage of Europe and the east coast of the United States.
Its design life is 15 years. Atlantic Bird(TM) 1 will join the EUTELSAT
fleet, making it the 18th satellite launched for the operator by Arianespace.

MSG-1 (Meteosat Second Generation) is part of a European program
comprising three geostationary meteorological observation and climate
monitoring satellites. The European Space Agency (ESA) co-financed and
developed the first MSG satellite and supplied the subsequent spacecraft for

From an orbital position at 0 degrees Longitude above the Gulf of Guinea,
the three Meteosat Second Generation satellites will provide a regular flow of
highly accurate data for the next 15 years. MSG-1 is the seventh satellite
for which EUMETSAT has selected the European Ariane launcher.