Arianespace today lofted
the NSS-7 satellite for operator New Skies Satellites N.V., marking the fifth
Ariane launch in 2002 and the sixth satellite orbited in three months.

This latest Arianespace success, which brought Ariane missions to the
milestone 150 mark, confirms the predominant role played by Europe’s launcher
in the global marketplace. One hundred Ariane flights were performed from
April 1992 to April 2002, for an average of 10 per year. Arianespace has set a
rapid pace again for 2002, with four Ariane 4s and one Ariane 5 already
launched since January 1 from the Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Working for a new operator: New Skies Satellites N.V.

The selection of Ariane by new and evolving satellite telecommunications
operators such as New Skies Satellites N.V. is a clear recognition of
Arianespace’s high-quality launch service.

NSS-7 will be positioned at 338 degrees East over the Atlantic Ocean, and
will offer enhanced coverage of the Americas, Europe and Africa. The NSS-7
spacecraft will combine television and Internet services of the existing NSS-K
satellite with the substantial video and data traffic carried by NSS-803,
debuting with an established video, IP and telecom neighborhood.

NSS-7 was built by Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, California. Weighing
about 4,700 kg at liftoff, NSS-7 is equipped with 36 C-band and 36 Ku-band
transponders. With a design life of 12 years, it will replace the NSS-K
satellite, and enable New Skies’ NSS-803 to be re-positioned to 183 degrees
East, where it will provide trans-oceanic connectivity between Asia and the
United States.

Another New Skies satellite, NSS-6, also is slated for an Arianespace
launch in 2002. To be located at 95 degrees East, it will provide services
primarily for Asia.

Upcoming launch

Arianespace’s next launch, Flight 151, is slated for liftoff on May 3,
2002. An Ariane 42P will boost CNES’ Spot 5 Earth observation satellite into
Sun-synchronous orbit, along with the Idefix piggyback passenger.

Following Flight 150, Arianespace’s backlog now stands at 36 satellites to
be launched, plus 9 ATV missions for the International Space Station.

Flight 150 at a glance

Flight 150 was carried out by an Ariane 44L (the Ariane 4 launcher family
version with four liquid-propellant strap-on boosters) from Europe’s Spaceport
in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on April 16, 2002 at 8:02 p.m. local
time in Kourou (23H02 GMT, 7:02 p.m. in Washington, DC, and on April 17 at
1:02 a.m. in Paris). It is the 69th successful Ariane 4 mission in a row.

  • Provisional parameters at third stage injection were:
  • Perigee:
    199.2 km for a target of 199.7 km (+/- 3 km)

  • Apogee:
    35,908 km for a target of 35,955 km (+/- 150 km)

  • Inclination:
    7.00 degrees for a target of 7.00 degrees (+/- 0.06 degrees)

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 http://www.arianespace.com.