Press Release

Arianespace Flight 147: First Ariane Launch in 2002 Successfully Orbits the Eighth Satellite for India

By SpaceRef Editor
January 24, 2002
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Arianespace launched the INSAT 3C communications satellite today for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in a successful mission performed from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

INSAT 3C is the eighth Indian satellite carried by an Ariane rocket. Today’s flight was Arianespace’s first mission in 2002, and also marked the world’s first commercial launch of the New Year.

Flight 147 continues the long-standing relationship between Arianespace and the Indian Space Research Organisation, which dates back to the launch of India’s first satellite, Apple, in June 1981.

“We are extremely pleased to have served one of our most faithful customers in tonight’s successful mission,” Arianespace Chairman and CEO Jean-Marie Luton said moments after INSAT 3C reached orbit. “I want to pay tribute to ISRO Chairman Dr. Kasturirangan and his organization for the achievement of this project, which demonstrates once again that India belongs to the elite club of great space nations.”

ISRO’s ninth satellite, INSAT 3A, is to be orbited by Arianespace later this year, followed by the tenth, INSAT 3E, in 2003.

After Flight 147, Arianespace’s backlog now stands at 41 satellites to be launched, plus 9 ATV missions for the International Space Station.

Upcoming Arianespace launches

Ariane 4: Flight 148 is scheduled for February 20, 2002. An Ariane 44L will orbit the Intelsat 904 communications satellite for the international operator Intelsat.

Ariane 5: Preparations for the next Ariane 5 mission are on schedule for a liftoff in late February. Modifications to the ignition sequence on the Aestus upper stage engine have been defined and applied to the flight engine for the upcoming launch, and this engine has successfully passed its acceptance tests. These results support the target launch date of February 28 for the mission that will carry the European Space Agency’s Envisat environmental satellite.

Flight 147 at a glance

Flight 147 was performed by an Ariane 42L, the Ariane 4 launcher family version equipped with two liquid-propellant strap-on boosters. Liftoff from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana was on January 23, 2002 at 8:47 p.m. local time (23h47 GMT, 6:47 p.m. in Washington, D.C., and 00:47 a.m. in Paris on January 24).
Provisional parameters at third stage injection were:

Perigee: 570 km. for a target of 570 km. (±3 km.)

Apogee: 35,954 km. for a target of 35,952 km. (±150 km.)

Inclination: 3.99 degrees for a target of 4.00 degrees (±0.06°)

The INSAT 3C satellite

INSAT 3C was assembled and integrated by the Indian Space Research Organisation in Bangalore, southern India. Weighing 2,750 kg. at liftoff, it will be positioned at 74 degrees East and provide telecommunications and TV transmission services for the Indian subcontinent. INSAT 3C is fitted with 30 C-band transponders, two S-band

transponders and an SSM transponder dedicated to mobile communications.

SpaceRef staff editor.