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Third Ariane 5 For Launch In 2009 Delivered To French Guiana - 11-March-2009, 10:03

Arianespace is keeping up its Ariane 5 mission pace with this week's delivery of the third heavy-lift vehicle to be launched in 2009 from the Spaceport in French Guiana.

The latest Ariane 5 ECA arrived Wednesday, March 4 aboard the MN Colibri, which is one of two roll-on/roll-off vessels used to transport launch vehicles from their production sites in Europe to French Guiana.

This new vehicle will carry TerreStar-1 on a mission planned for the Spring. TerreStar-1 is one of the world's largest commercial communications satellites, and will ride as a solo passenger on the dedicated Ariane 5.

Arianespace is targeting seven Ariane 5 missions in 2009. Its year-opening launch on February 12 orbited the HOT BIRDT 10 and NSS-9 telecommunications satellites, along with two Spirale auxiliary passengers for a French defense early warning system.

Preparations are now underway for the second launch of 2009, which is set for April 16 with two European space science payloads to explore the universe's origins: the Herschel telescope and Planck observatory.
   
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