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Ariane 5 failure



>From  http://space.com/missionlaunches/launches/ariane5_launch_010712.html

An experimental communications satellite for the European Space Agency (ESA)
and a Japanese direct broadcast television satellite are circling Earth in a
useless orbit thanks to a botched Ariane 5 launch from South America on
Thursday.

Estimated loss in hardware alone: $1 billion.

Arianespace chief Jean-Marie Luton revealed the bad news almost an hour
after the 5:58 p.m. EDT (2158 GMT) launch from the Guiana Space Center,
saying through a translator, "We did not obtain the desired orbits for the
satellites" because of a "defect in the propellant on the last stage."

[snip]

Describing the orbit the two satellites are in, Luton said that they missed
the high point of the orbit by half. The intended low point, or perigee, was
to have been 500 miles (800 kilometers) and the intended high point was to
have been 22,300 miles (36,000 kilometers).

Instead, the Ariane 5 delivered the satellites into an orbit that was 372
miles (600 kilometers) by 10,870 miles (17,500 kilometers), Luton said.

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