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ARIANESPACE FLIGHT V52: SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF U.S.-FRENCH TOPEX/POSEIDON SATELLITE

 ARIANESPACE FLIGHT V52: SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH
 OF U.S.-FRENCH TOPEX/POSEIDON SATELLITE
 WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Arianespace successfully placed in orbit the first NASA satellite, together with the first Korean KITSAT A satellite and the S80T satellite, for the French National Space Agency (CNES).
 The TOPEX/POSEIDON space oceanography scientific satellite was placed in quasi-circular orbit inclined at 66 degrees today at:
 8:08 p.m. Kourou, French Guiana
 11:08 p.m. GMT
 7:08 p.m. (EDT) Washington
 1:08 a.m. Paris, Aug. 11
 The Ariane 42P (two solid propellant strap-on boosters) lift-off took place from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana. Total payload performance provided by Ariane for the three satellites was 2661 kg (5,868 lbs).
 Provisional circular orbit parameters, calculated on injection of the third stage, were:
 Perigee: 1322 km for a target of 1322 km
 Apogee: 1331 km for a target of 1331 km
 Inclination: 66.05 degrees for a target of 66.05 degrees
 The TOPEX/POSEIDON space oceanography program, conducted jointly by NASA and CNES, is aimed at improving comprehension of the climatological evolution of the planet. With a lift-off mass of 2402 kg (5,302 lbs), the satellite was built by Fairchild Space, an American subsidiary of the Matra Group, for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL/NASA) in Pasadena, Calif. Incorporating a payload based on sophisticated radar altimetry technology, the satellite carries six instruments (four American and two French): two radar altimeters, three orbitographic systems and one SHF radiometer. TOPEX/POSEIDON will monitor ocean currents on a world scale, measuring sea levels to within a margin of +,- 1 cm.
 Ariane also carried two auxiliary passengers for this northward, polar orbit launch. KITSAT A is a South Korean communications "store and forward" type microsatellite. With a mass of 50 kg, KITSAT A uses a UOSAT platform manufactured by the University of Surrey in Great Britain. S80T also has a mass of 50 kg and uses a UOSAT platform. This microsatellite is designed to study VHF band operation for mobile communications. S80T was manufactured by Matra Marconi Space (France) for CNES.
 "This launch is an event of worldwide importance, and Arianespace is proud to have contributed in this way to scientific progress in the space oceanography field. The TOPEX/POSEIDON launch represents a vote of confidence from two leading national space agencies: NASA in the USA and CNES in France. Arianespace is also pleased to have placed into orbit the first satellite for South Korea," said Arianespace Chairman and CEO Charles Bigot.
 The next Arianespace launch is now scheduled for early September 1992. Flight 53 will place HISPASAT 1A, the first Spanish telecommunications satellite, and SATCOM C1, a telecommunications satellite for the American company GE Americom, in geostationary transfer orbit. An Ariane 44L will be used for this flight.
 Following Flight 52, Arianespace's backlog stands at 32 satellites to be launched, worth approximately 14.45 billion francs (about US$2.6 billion).
 Arianespace, an industrial and commercial company, is a world leader in the provision of commercial space transportation services. Arianespace also markets and sells Ariane launch services and provides launch operations from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. Arianespace, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Arianespace, is responsible for marketing launch services in the United States; a liaison office in Tokyo assures an Arianespace presence in Japan and in the Pacific region.
 -0- 8/10/92
 /CONTACT: Michelle Lyle of Arianespace, Inc., 202-628-3936; Claude Sanchez of Arianespace S.A., (33/1)6087 60 13/14; or Dieter Brand of Arianespace Tokyo, 813-3592-2766/ CO: Arianespace ST: District of Columbia IN: ARO SU:


TW -- DC032 -- 8757 08/10/92 20:13 EDT
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Date:Aug 10, 1992
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