Spaceflight Now: Mission Report
Flight 139 mission events

Posted: February 6, 2001

H0 Engine ignition
Four first stage Snecma Viking 5 engines and two strap-on liquid-propellant boosters are started and undergo checkout prior to launch.
H0+00:04.4 Launch
The Ariane 44L rocket lifts off from ELA-2 complex at Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, South America.
H0+00:16 Pitch Maneuver
Following a vertical ascent phase, the rocket makes a 10-second pitch motion for positioning on the proper launch trajectory.
H0+02:28 Booster Separation
Having burned all their fuel, the four Astrium-made strap-on liquid boosters are jettisoned from the Ariane rocket's first stage to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.
H0+03:32 First Stage Separation
The EADS Launch Vehicles-produced first stage of the Ariane 44L rocket is separated to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.
H0+03:35 Second Stage Ignition
The single Snecma Viking 4 engine aboard the Ariane's second stage is started, continuing the climb to orbit.
H0+04:02 Jettison Nose Cone
The 4-meter diameter payload fairing, built by Contraves, that protected Sicral and Skynet 4F spacecraft during atmospheric ascent is separated.
H0+05:44 Second Stage Separation
The Astrium-built second stage of the Ariane 44L rocket is jettisoned to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.
H0+05:48 Third Stage Ignition
Following the release of the second stage, the single Snecma HM 7B third stage engine is started to complete the powered phase of flight to deliver dual military payload into orbit.
H0+19:16 Third Stage Shutdown
After consuming its supply of liquid hydrogen and liquid oyxgen, the third stage engine shuts down. Injection into the required orbit follows two seconds later. The EADS Launch Vehicles-built stage will now provide the necessary pointing and alignment for payload separation.
H0+20:55 Sicral Separation
The Italian Sicral 1 military communications satellite is released into the desired geosynchronous transfer orbit. The predicted injection orbit features a perigee altitude of 225 km, apogee altitude of 36,010 km and inclination of 7 degrees.
H0+25:53 Skynet 4F Separation
The Skynet 4F military communications satellite for the U.K. Ministry of Defence is released into the desired geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Data source: Arianespace.
Flight data file
Vehicle: Ariane 44L
Payload: Sicral 1 & Skynet 4F
Launch date: Feb. 7, 2001
Launch window: 2228-2328 GMT (5:28-6:28 p.m. EST)
Launch site: ELA-2, Kourou, French Guiana
Satellite broadcast: Telstar 5, Transponder 16, C-band

Pre-launch Briefing
Ariane 44L - Overview of the rocket configuration for this launch.

Ariane directory - See our previous coverage of Ariane rocket launches.