Ariane 5 launches two satellites

Early this morning, an Ariane 5 ECA launcher lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on its mission to place two telecommunications satellites, JCSat-12 and Optus D3, into geostationary transfer orbits.

Lift-off of flight V190 took place at 00:09 CEST/Paris (22:09 UTC/GMT [21 August]; 19:09 UTC-3/French Guiana [21 August]). The target injection orbit had a perigee altitude of 250 km, an apogee altitude at injection of 35 786 km and an inclination of two degrees. The satellites were accurately injected into their transfer orbits about 27 and 34 minutes after lift-off.

JCSat-12 will operate in the Ku- and C-bands, providing broadcast and broadband services covering Japan, the Oceania and Asia-Pacific regions and Hawaii. Optus D3 will operate in the Ku-band, delivering direct-to-home TV broadcast, Internet, telephony and data transmission services for Australia and New Zealand. The payload mass for this launch was 7622 kg; the satellite masses totalled 6523 kg, with payload adapters and dispensers making up the additional 1099 kg.

Arianespace and Europe's Spaceport are planning seven Ariane launches during 2009, maintaining the heavy-lift vehicle's flight rate.

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