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Ariane 5 Launches Record Payload (Nov. 16)

KOUROU, French Guiana---Arianespace today launched PAS-1R and three auxiliary payloads on a single flight, setting a new record by placing 6,313 kg. into orbit. Using an Ariane 5 heavy-lift vehicle, Flight 135 lofted the PAS-1R communications satellite for PanAmSat, the Amsat Phase 3D amateur radio satellite, and on the first Ariane 5 ASAP adaptator two British technology microsatellites, STRV-1c and 1d.

Coming full circle with PanAmSat
PAS-1R is the 17th satellite entrusted to Arianespace by PanAmSat, one of its most loyal clients. This relationship of mutual trust between Arianespace and this leading global telecommunications operator dates back to the Ariane 4 launch in June 1988 ­ a flight that orbited the first PanAmSat satellite, PAS 1. After 12 years of faithful service, PAS-1 will be replaced by PAS-1R at its 45° West orbital slot.

Arianespace: Combining reliability and performance
With a spotless record of 10 out of 10 successful flights since the beginning of the year, Arianespace continues to demonstrate the reliability and performance of its launch service for any kind of satellite. Ariane 5 is the only commercial launcher in service today capable of boosting payloads weighing more than 6 tons into geostationary transfer orbit.

Upcoming launches for the remainder of 2000
The next launch, Flight 136, is planned for November 20. An Ariane 44L version of the workhorse Ariane 4 family will orbit the Anik F1 communications satellite for Canadian operator Telesat.

It will be followed December 8 by Flight 137, using an Ariane 44P to boost the Alcatel Space-built Eurasiasat satellite into geostationary transfer orbit for Turkey.

Flight 138 on December 20 will close out the year's activity for Arianespace. On this mission, an Ariane 5 will loft a trio of spacecraft: the Astra 2D and GE-8 telecommunications satellites, along with Japan's LDREX technology demonstrator.

Following today's success with Flight 135, Arianespace's backlog stands at 39 satellites to be launched, plus 9 ATV resupply missions for the International Space Station. (ends)

Arianespace's Ariane 5 Sets a New Payload Lift Record,Placing Four Satellite Payloads Into Orbit