KOUROU, French Guiana---Aianespace today orbited the Anik F1 communications satellite for Canadian operator Telesat, just six days after the previous flight that carried another heavyweight payload. With these back-to-back successes, using an Ariane 4 and an Ariane 5, Arianespace once again demonstrated its key role in the development of global telecommunications, and bolstered its position as the benchmark provider of space transportation services.
Anik F1 is the fourth Canadian satellite to call on the European launcher, following Anik E2, launched in April 1991, Anik E1 in September 1991 and MSAT 1 in April 1996. A fifth launch for Canada, the Anik F2 satellite, is planned for late 2002.
Telesat is a world leader in satellite communications systems management. It deploys a fleet of TV broadcast and telecom satellites, and also is a highly respected consultant and partner of numerous operators worldwide.
Ariane sets new records Arianespace used an Ariane 44L version of the workhorse Ariane 4 family to loft Anik F1 on Flight 136. It was the 101st Ariane 4 since the launcher entered service in 1988.
Arianespace's ability to perform two missions in less than one week underscores the operational flexbility of the Ariane system and the capacity of Europe's Spaceport in Kourou to react to payload customers' launch services needs.
With today's Flight 136 success, Arianespace has orbited three communications satellites and three auxiliary payloads in less than one month, employing two Ariane 4s and one Ariane 5.
Arianespace has a spotless record of 11 out of 11 successful flights since the beginning of the year. On Flight 136, the company logged its 59th successful Ariane 4 launch in a row.
Upcoming launches The next launch, Flight 137, is planned for December 8 An Ariane 44P will place Alcatel Space's Eurasiasat communications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit for Turkey.
Flight 138/Ariane 508, slated for December 20, will use an Ariane 5 to orbit the Astra 2D, GE-8 and LDREX satellites.
Following Flight 136 today, Arianespace's backlog stands at 38 satellites to be launched, plus 9 ATV launches for the International Space Station.
Arianespace Flight 136: The Second Success In Six Days