THE EUROPEAN satellite-communications organisation Eutelsat has selected Arianespace to launch its Hot Bird 3 satellite in early 1997. The choice between an Ariane 4 or 5 launch for the Matra Marconi Space-built satellite will be made in 1996.

Arianespace hopes to launch either the Hot Bird 1 or the Eutelsat 2-F6 in February 1995, with the Brasilsat B2. The launch will be on flight V71 after modifications to the Ariane 4 vehicle's third stage following the V70 loss on 1 December, 1994 (Flight International, 4-10 January).

The Hot Bird 2 will be launched by a Martin Marietta Atlas 2A. The Hot Bird 3 contract brings Arianespace's outstanding orderbook to 39.

Source: Flight International