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The World

A French Ariane 4 rocket boosted Japan’s first commercial communications satellite into orbit along with a new European meteorological satellite in the European Space Agency’s 29th launching. Running six days late because of a strike and mechanical problems, the 195-foot Ariane 4, making only its third flight, vaulted away from the space agency’s launch complex at Kourou, French Guiana, on the northern coast of South America at 3:29 p.m. PST. About 20 minutes after liftoff, the two satellites were deployed, officials said.


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