Ariane 4 boosts Eutelsat's Atlantic Bird 2

Arianespace has successfully orbited the Atlantic Bird 2 satellite for international telecommunications operator Eutelsat.

Conducted its second mission in 25 days, Arianspace used an Ariane 4 nighttime launch to place Atlantic BirdTM 2 into geostationary transfer orbit on 27 September.

The Flight 144's liftoff took place on 25 September nad was initially delayed by a telemetry problem at the Spaceport, which was resolved within the 57-minute launch window.

The Alcatel Space-built Atlantic BirdTM 2 satellite is a key element of Eutelsat's global service expansion, and the spacecraft will provide relay capacity from the Americas to Europe and beyond, utilizing the telecommunication operator's Atlantic Gate orbital slot at 8 deg. West. Atlantic Bird 2 carries 26 transponders and will cover four continents, reaching North and South America, Europe, and countries in North Africa and the Middle East.

Flight 144 used an Ariane 44P version of the Ariane 4 family, equipped with the four solid propellant strap-on boosters for augmented thrust during the initial ascent phase. The mission was the 15th - and final - flight of an Ariane 44P in the Ariane 4 family's operational career. It also marked the 106th launch of an Ariane 4 - and the vehicle's 64th consecutive success.

Arianespace's next flight is set for November 27, when another Ariane 4 will orbit the DirectTV-4S satellite for US operator, DirectTV.

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