Phase 3-D to be Launched Aboard an Ariane 5

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For Immediate Release

Number 99-02, October 8, 1999

MARBURG, GERMANY (October 8, 1999) (AMSAT News Service) AMSAT's most ambitious project to date... the International Phase 3-D communications satellite...has now been accepted for launch aboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 launch vehicle.

Dr. Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, AMSAT-Germany's President and Phase 3-D Project Leader released the following statement on October 7th:

"As the primary agency responsible for securing a launch opportunity for Phase 3-D, I am pleased to announce that AMSAT-Germany and Arianespace have now come to an agreement calling for the launch of P3-D as a secondary payload aboard the "first suitable" Ariane 5 flight."

Dr. Meinzer went on to comment that, "From the very beginning of the Phase 3-D project, we considered the Ariane 5 series our primary launch vehicle. Our long history of success and mutual cooperation with both the European Space Agency (ESA) and Arianespace, coupled with our need to lift P3-D into a high geostationary transfer orbit, made the Ariane 5 the unanimous choice by AMSAT."

Following standard protocol, specific details of the launch agreement were not released.

AMSAT-NA President Keith Baker, KB1SF, was elated with the latest news. "I'm very pleased to see that AMSAT-DL's negotiations with Arianespace have resulted in a launch contract for Phase 3-D, and I'm delighted we are again slated to fly on an Ariane vehicle," he said. "Following the resounding success of Ariane flight 503, the Ariane 5 has now proven itself to be a very capable launcher. When coupled with our many past successes with ESA and Ariane, I believe we now have an unbeatable combination. Once it is in orbit, the Phase 3-D satellite will not only help us usher in the new Millennium, it will also signal the dawn of a brand new era for Amateur Radio." he concluded.

While both AMSAT presidents expressed optimism for an early launch of the satellite, Dr. Meinzer expressed caution that the wait for the "first suitable" flight could still turn out to be a long one. "While the launch of Phase 3-D could come as early as the first half of the year 2000, we must remember that Ariane's launch manifests are continually being updated to accommodate market changes as well as the availability of other payloads. Thus, one or more changes to P3-D's anticipated launch date, along with its specific Ariane 5 mission number, are a very real possibility before our satellite actually flies," he said.

Nevertheless, based on its new "standby" launch status, Phase 3-D is slated to be delivered to the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana later this month so as to be ready for quick integration once Arianespace identifies a specific Ariane 5 launch vehicle for P3-D's ride to orbit.

While its primary focus is on improved worldwide satellite communications, the Phase 3-D satellite will also have a very positive influence on the very future of Amateur Radio. Built primarily from donated resources, the International Phase 3-D team includes participating AMSAT groups from Great Britain, Japan, Canada, Finland, Russia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, France, New Zealand and Hungary in addition to the groups from AMSAT-Germany and AMSAT-North America.

AMSAT is very proud of its long tradition of excellence and the contributions it has made to the advancement of space communications, space education and the space sciences. Phase 3-D will be Amateur Radio's premier vehicle to continue the quest for new communications technologies for generations yet unborn.

For more information visit us on the World Wide Web at or contact:

In North America:
AMSAT-North America		
Dan James, NN0DJ; VP, Public Affairs
P.O. Box 279, Parker Farms Estates
Warroad, MN 56763 USA
Phone: +1 (218) 386-1544
In Europe:
Werner Haas, DJ5KQ; Vice President
Holderstrauch 10
D-35041 Marburg, Germany
Phone: (06421) 283551
Fax: (06421) 285665


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