This morning an Ariane 5G launcher lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. On board was the largest telecommunications satellite ever to be placed into geostationary transfer orbit.
The mission was initially delayed during the two-hour-long launch window to verify telemetry readings from Ariane 5s mobile launch table, and the countdown subsequently resumed for an early morning takeoff from the ELA-3 launch zone.
The heavyweight THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR) satellite had a lift-off mass of almost 6500 kg. Before this morning’s launch, the record for the heaviest telecommunications satellite to be placed into orbit belonged to the Anik F2 satellite, launched by an Ariane 5 launcher in July 2004.
Marc Toussaint | alfa
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Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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