XTAR-EUR represents the birth of Europe's most powerful rocket

Europe's most powerful &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/cis/2002/10/16/38254.html ' target=_blank>rocket, carrying a payload of precious satellites, soared into space Saturday from its South American base in a successful launch more than two years after its inaugural flight ended in disaster.

Just a half-hour after liftoff from its base in Kourou, French Guiana, the Ariane-5 &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/11674_.html' target=_blank>ECA the world's most powerful commercial launcher had placed its two satellites into orbit.

The control room broke into applause and tense technicians shared smiles and handshakes after data showed the payload, a U.S.-Spanish satellite and a European Space Agency micro-satellite, had been successfully lobbed into orbit 31 minutes after the liftoff, says ABC News.

"The launch of XTAR-EUR represents the birth of a new dimension in &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2002/10/17/38324.html ' target=_blank>satellite services. XTAR is designed to provide much-needed X-band capacity to the U.S. and other friendly nations in support of their military and government communications requirements," said Dr. Denis Curtin, chief operating officer, XTAR.

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