Arianespace begins 2001 with launch for Turkey
BY JUSTIN RAY
Posted: January 10, 2001
A telecommunications satellite that will bridge 150 million Turkish-speaking people in Europe and Asia was launched into orbit Wednesday by an Arianespace Ariane 4 rocket, marking the European booster's 60th straight success.
But with the wait finally over, the 102nd Ariane 4 did its job by lobbing the Eurasiasat 1 satellite into the planned geosynchronous transfer orbit just over 20 minutes after liftoff. The looping orbit ranges from 179.8 km on the low end and 35,932 km on the high end with an inclination of 6.5 degrees to the equator.
From that vantage point, the craft will be operated by the Monaco-based company Eurasiasat, which was established in 1996 as a joint venture between Turk Telekom and Alcatel Space.
Eurasiasat 1, also known as Turksat 2A, features 32 Ku-band transponders that will provide direct broadcast television programming, radio and data transmissions and Internet access services across Europe, Turkey and Central Asia. Its two steerable beams can be pointed where the commercial market dictates, including the Middle East, Russia, India and South Africa.
Arianespace Flight 137 marked the launch services provider's first flight of 2001, with 10 more planned this year. The launch schedule will be shared by five more Ariane 4s and five next-generation Ariane 5 rockets.
This also marked one of 15 Ariane 4s that remain to be flown before the workhorse launcher is retired from service.
The next Arianespace launch is scheduled for February 7 when an Ariane 44L carries to space the Sicral 1 communications satellite for the Italian Ministry of Defence and the British Ministry of Defence's Skynet 4F communications spacecraft.
Flight data file
Vehicle: Ariane 44P
Payload: Eurasiasat 1
Launch date: Jan. 10, 2001
Launch window: 2209-2353 GMT (5:09-6:53 p.m. EST)
Launch site: ELA-2, Kourou, French Guiana
Satellite broadcast: Telstar 6, Transponder 12, C-band
Launch timeline - Chart with times and descriptions of the events to occur during launch.
Ariane 44P - Overview of the rocket to launch Eurasiasat 1.
Eurasiasat 1 satellite - Overview of Turkish telecommunications spacecraft.
Ariane directory - See our previous coverage of Ariane rocket launches.
MISSION STATUS CENTER