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Final Ariane 4 mission on 12 February 2003

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PARIS: The final mission of an Ariane 4 has been given the green light for liftoff following the launch readiness review performed at the Spaceport in French Guiana. The liftoff of Flight 159 is confirmed for 12 February during a one-hour launch window that opens at 7 am GMT, 8 am Paris time.



The final Ariane 4 mission will mark the 116th launch for the Ariane 4 family, which entered service in 1988. Flight 159's review validated the readiness of the Ariane 4, its Intelsat 907 telecommunications satellite payload, the Guiana Space Centre's infrastructure and the downrange tracking stations.



Flight 159 uses an Ariane 44L version of the family, which is equipped with four large strap-on liquid boosters for additional thrust during liftoff and initial ascent. The upcoming mission will be the 40th flight of an Ariane 44L.



Intelsat 907 will have a mass of approximately 4,680 kg at liftoff, and is designed for an operational lifetime of 13 years. The spacecraft was built by Space Systems/Loral and carries 76 C-band and 22 Ku-band transponders (in 36 MHz equivalent units).



Intelsat 907 will be the 23rd Intelsat spacecraft launched by Ariane. During its operational lifetime, the workhorse Ariane 4 launcher family demonstrated Arianespace's capability to match up and launch multiple spacecraft on a single mission - a procedure that will continue with even larger satellites on the successor Ariane 5.

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