Status Report

Ariane-5, Flight 138 mission update

By SpaceRef Editor
December 19, 2000
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Mission Update: Flight 138
December 19: Flight 138 closes out a very successful 2000
Arianespace completed its 2000 launch activity as it started the year – with a completely successful mission.
Flight 138 lifted off on time at the start of its evening launch window, placing the European Astra 2D and American GE-8/Aurora III satellites into accurate geostationary transfer orbits, as well as deploying the LDREX antenna experiment for Japan.
This was the fifth mission for the Ariane 5 heavy-lift vehicle in 12 months, and the 11th flight of an Ariane vehicle for 2000.
Arianespace Chairman and CEO Jean-Marie Luton said Flight 138 underscored the confidence of international customers in Arianespace. Astra 2D marked the seventh SociÈtÈ EuropÈenne de Satellites (SES) spacecraft lofted by an Ariane, and the 15th satellite orbited by Ariane for U.S. operator GE Americom.
"These two operators demonstrated once again the importance they place on the standards of punctuality and reliability," Luton said in comments after the mission’s conclusion. "It also is symbolic that customers from Europe, the U.S. and Japan have come together on Flight 138. This illustrates the international nature of our space endeavors."
Arianespace will start off its 2001 mission activity with an Ariane 4 launch, scheduled for the first half of January. This will be Flight 137, which had been scheduled for earlier this month, but was delayed to allow additional inspection of the Eurasiasat 1 satellite payload as requested by the customer.

SpaceRef staff editor.