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Eldorado

The doomed ride of Ariane Flight 36

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Eldorado

On October 17, 1989, the earth shook in Loma Prieta, California. A highway collapsed, many lives were lost, and lots of infrastructure was destroyed. Among the many places damaged was the Ford satellite facility in Palo Alto. The company soon made a damage assessment and found their Superbird-B communication satellite had been moderately damaged. So, Ford contacted Arianespace and Superbird-B’s ride to orbit was temporarily put on the backburner.

This put Ariane Flight 35 and Flight 36 into a kind of conflict. Enter SPOT-2, the second remote sensing satellite in a series continuing to this day. Thanks to Ariane’s extreme modularity, the company made a pretty clever booster and payload swap and ultimately managed to make lemons into lemonade.

Alas, the said lemonade would soon leave a very bad taste in their mouths.

Full article at The Space Review: Link

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