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Ariane 4 Launches NSS-6 Satellite (Dec. 18)

KOUROU, French Guiana --- Arianespace tonight successfully orbited the NSS-6 satellite for international operator New Skies Satellites N.V.

Less than a week after Flight 157, the flawless orbital injection of NSS-6 fully demonstrated Arianespace's capability to ensure launch service continuity for its customers.

Second successful mission for New Skies Satellites N.V.
Tonight's Flight 156 marked the second time that New Skies Satellites has relied on Arianespace for commercial launch services since the satellite company's founding in 1998. New Skies Satellites is one of four fixed satellite operators in the world that offers true global satellite coverage, and its NSS-7 satellite was orbited by Arianespace on April 17, 2002 (Flight 150).

Built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, NSS-6 is capable of connecting more than 60% of the world's population, especially in the broadcasting and business services sectors.

Weighing about 4,575 kg. at launch, it will be positioned at 95 degrees East to provide coverage of Asia, Australia, India, the Middle East and Southern Africa. NSS-6 features onboard switching, which means it can assign up to 15 transponders to each region. This high degree of coverage flexibility will enable New Skies to adapt to changing market requirements.

Flight 156 at a glance: 73rd consecutive success for Ariane 4
Flight 156 was carried out by an Ariane 44L - the Ariane 4 launcher version equipped with four liquid-propellant strap-on boosters - from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on December 17, 2002 at 8:04 p.m. local time in Kourou (23H04 Universal Time, 6:04 p.m. in Washington, DC, and on December 18 at 0:04 a.m. in Paris).

Provisional parameters at third-stage injection were:
--Perigee: 199.4 km for a target of 199.7 km. (±3 km.)
--Apogee: 35,904 km for a target of 35,955 km. (±150 km.)
--Inclination: 6.99 degrees for a target of 6.99 degrees (±0.06 deg.) (ends)

Arianespace Flight 156: NSS-6 Successfully Launched for New Skies Satellites N.V.