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FW: ESA Press Release - "Ariane 503 - Launch scheduled for mid-October 1998"

-----Original Message-----
From: ESA News/Document Server [mailto:esanews@esrin.esa.it] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 1998 8:34 AM
Subject: ESA Press Release - "Ariane 503 - Launch scheduled for
mid-October 1998"

                                         No. 21-98 - Paris, 15 June 1998

JOINT ESA/CNES/ARIANESPACE PRESS RELEASE                                
Ariane 503 - launch scheduled for mid-October 1998                      

The W1 communications satellite developed for Eutelsat no longer being
available, the W2 satellite, which was to have been carried as a
commercial passenger on Ariane 503, will be launched by an Ariane-4

The search for a new passenger cannot be reconciled with the planning
schedule leading to entry of Ariane-5 into operational service.  The
Ariane 503 payload will therefore consist, in addition to the ARD
(Atmospheric Reentry Demonstrator) -  which has already been delivered
to the Guiana Space Centre - of a representative mock-up of the W2

With these two payloads, the Ariane 503 flight will complete the
qualification of the Ariane-5 launcher.

Taking account of the time needed to develop, test and integrate the
mock-up, the  Ariane 503 launch is now scheduled for mid-October 1998.

Ariane-5 is an ESA programme for which ESA has delegated management
responsibility to CNES.

Flight 503, conducted under ESA responsibility, will be the last of the
Ariane-5 qualification flights.  The launcher used will be the first
production-series unit ordered by Arianespace from European industry.

Launch operations are managed by Arianespace at the ELA-3 launch site at
the Guiana Space Centre, Europe's space port (French Guyana).