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Ariane 5 launches two communication satellites


Ariane 5's mission with NILESAT 201 and RASCOM-QAF1R was performed from the Spaceportís ELA-3 launch zone. Photo: Arianespace.

EVRY (BNS): The Ariane 5 carrier rocket of Arianespace has successfully launched a dual-satellite payload from its Kourou space center in French Guiana on Wednesday.

During the mission, the heavy-lift Ariane 5 orbited two satellites, NILESAT 201 and RASCOM-QAF1R, built by Thales Alenia Space, according to a news report by Arianespace.

The satellites will provide telecommunications services to Africa, the Middle East and Persian Gulf states: NILESAT 201 for Egyptian-based Nilesat and RASCOM-QAF1R for the Pan-African satellite operator, RascomStar-QAF.

“This was the 38th consecutive launch success for Ariane 5,” said Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman & CEO of Arianespace.

The launch lifted an estimated payload of 7085 kg, including the 6250 kg for the NILESAT 201 and RASCOM-QAF1R satellites, plus their integration hardware and the SYLDA 5 dual-payload dispenser system.

This was the third successful launch of Ariane 5 in 2010 and 38th consecutive launch in a row.

Arianespace also announced that it has received a GSAT-10 launch contract from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

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