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FLIGHT 56 ANOTHER SUCCESS FOR ARIANESPACE

 WASHINGTON, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Arianespace successfully placed into orbit Astra 1C, the third direct broadcast TV satellite operated by the Societe Europeenne des Satellites, as well as the Arsene mini- satellite for the French amateur radio club.
 The first 42L version of Europe's Ariane launcher, fitted with two liquid strap-on boosters, lifted off from the Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, today at:
 -- 9:56 p.m. Kourou, French Guiana
 -- 8:56 p.m. (EDT) Washington
 -- 12:56 p.m. GMT on May 12
 -- 2:56 a.m. Paris time on May 12
 Total payload at launch was 3,147 kg (6,923 lb). Provisional parameters at third stage injection into geostationary orbit were:
 Perigee: 199.7 (+/- 1 km) for a target of 199.7 km
 Apogee: 36.162 (+/- 100 km) for a target of 36,160 km
 Inclination: 5 degrees (+/- 0.05 degrees) for a target of 5.0 degrees.
 "Our success this evening underscores SES's loyalty to Arianespace. The Societe Europeenne des Satellites has chosen Arianespace to launch all five of its satellites, including the third, Astra 1C, which has just been placed in a very accurate orbit. We are also very pleased to have taken part in the project organized by the Radio Amateur Club de l'Espace, by supplying launch services for their Arsene satellite," said Arianespace Chairman and CEO Charles Bigot.
 "We have had to demonstrate a large degree of flexibility and availability to overcome the scheduling problems of our customers. However, we were able to take advantage of these several months of waiting to perform major maintenance operations, and thus allow us to pursue a high launch rate for the rest of the year," he added.
 Astra 1C, built by Hughes Space and Communications of the U.S., weighed 2,790 kg (6,138 lb) at launch. Equipped with 18 Ku-band transponders, it will be co-located with Astra 1A and 1B, expanding SES's direct TV broadcasting


capabilities throughout Europe.
 Arsene, weighing 154 kg at launch, is the first French mini- satellite for ham radio operators. Built at the initiative of the Radio Amateur Club de L'Espace (RACE), it was built by the French space agency CNES, acting as prime contractor, with the support of the European space industry. Nearly 30 universities participated in this project, including both design and construction phases.
 The next Ariane launch is scheduled for June 9, 1993. Flight 57, an Ariane 42P launcher, will place the Hughes Communications Inc. Galaxy IV telecommunications satellite into a special transfer orbit using the Perigee Velocity Augmentation (PVA) procedure.
 Following Flight 56, Arianespace's backlog now stands at 39 satellites to be launched, worth 17.7 billion francs (about US$3.2 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- 5/11/93
 /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 Inc. ST: District of Columbia IN: ARO SU:

526 05-11-93 22:25 EDT TM-DC -- DC026 -- 7322 05/11/93 22:27 EDT
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Date:May 11, 1993
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