Arianespace today orbited
two satellite payloads built by Boeing Satellite Systems, using an Ariane 4 to
loft Japan’s JCSAT-8 for the JSAT Corporation and ASTRA 3A for
Luxembourg-based operator SES ASTRA.

Flight 149 marked Arianespace’s fourth launch in 2002, during which five
satellite payloads were orbited in less than 90 days.

Today’s successful mission, performed only weeks after the 11th Ariane 5
flight, confirms Ariane’s predominant position in the global launch services
Major satellite manufacturers and satellite communications
operators from the U.S., Japan and Europe have chosen Ariane, reflecting
international recognition of Arianespace’s top-flight launch service.

Prestigious Clients

JCSAT-8 and ASTRA 3A are the 45th and 46th Boeing satellites orbited by
This represents nearly 124 metric tons of payload from the U.S.
manufacturer that have been boosted into orbit aboard Ariane vehicles.

JCSAT-8 is the 17th Japanese satellite launched by Ariane.
It follows
earlier Arianespace missions with the JCSAT-1, JCSAT-5 and JCSAT-110
satellites for JSAT Corp. — the leading satellite telecommunications operator
in Asia.
Two other satellites, N-Star a and b, joined JSAT’s fleet, and were
also launched by Arianespace.

ASTRA 3A is the eighth satellite carried by Ariane for SES ASTRA, the
world’s no. 1 private satcom operator.
The launch was performed within the
scope of a contract signed by the Luxembourg-based operator with Boeing
Satellite Systems.

Arianespace’s Next Launch

Following Flight 149, Arianespace’s backlog now stands at 38 satellites to
be launched, plus 9 ATV missions for the International Space Station.

The next Arianespace mission is Flight 150, which is slated for April 16,
An Ariane 4 will boost the NSS 7 communications satellite into
geostationary transfer orbit for New Skies Satellites N.V.

Flight 149 at a Glance:
The 68th Successful Ariane 4 Launch in a Row
Flight 149 was performed from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana,
using an Ariane 44L version of the Ariane 4 launcher with four
liquid-propellant strap-on boosters.
Liftoff was on March 28, 2002 at 10:29
p.m. local time in Kourou (March 29 at 1:29 a.m. GMT, 2:29 a.m. in Paris,
10:29 a.m. in Tokyo, and on March 28 at 8:29 p.m. in Washington, DC).

Provisional parameters at third stage injection were:

Perigee: 249.8 km for a target of 249.6 km (+/- 3 km)

Apogee: 35,995 km for a target of 35,982 km (+/- 150 km)

Inclination: 4.00 degrees for a target of 4.00 degrees (+/- 0.06 degrees)


Built by Boeing Satellite Systems Inc. in El Segundo, California, JCSAT-8
will be positioned at 154 degrees east.
It will join the fleet operated by
JSAT Corporation to provide telecommunications services for Japan, Asia,
Oceania and Hawaii.
JCSAT-8 weighed about 2,600 kg at liftoff and is equipped
with 16 C-band transponders and 16 Ku-band transponders.
Its orbital design
life is 11 years.


Also built by Boeing Satellite Systems, ASTRA 3A weighed about 1,500 kg at
launch and is fitted with 20 Ku-band transponders.
It will be positioned at
23.5 degrees east.
ASTRA 3A will provide direct TV broadcast and multimedia
services for German-speaking Europe.
It has a design life of 10 years.

About Arianespace

Arianespace is the commercial launch services leader, holding more than
50 percent of the international market for satellites launched to
geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).
Created in 1980 as the world’s first
commercial space transportation company, Arianespace has signed contracts for
the launch of more than 240 satellite payloads.
For further information, see
the Arianespace Web site at .