Météosat 3, Panamsat 1 & Amsat P3C

Launch Time
Wed Jun 15, 1988 11:19 UTC

First flight of Ariane 4, and of Ariane 44LP. Only flight of Ariane 4 managed by ESA. Flight V22.


Ariane 44LP
Image Credit: Arianespace
Status: Retired
Liftoff Thrust: 5,800 kN
Payload to GTO: 4,220 kg
Stages: 3
Strap-ons: 4
Rocket Height: 58.72 m

Mission Details

Météosat 3

The Meteosat satellite system is an example of a very successful European endeavour. First designed in the early 1970s, the first model was launched in 1977, and the same design is expected to be in use until at least the end of 2003. The expected 26 years of operational service amply justifies the initial development effort. A few relatively minor design changes were introduced after Meteosat-3.

The overall size of the satellite is 2.1 meters in diameter and 3.195 meters long. Its initial mass in orbit is 282 kg. Additional to this dry mass is the hydrazine propellant used for station-keeping, amounting to approximately a further 40 kg at the beginning of life. In orbit, the satellite spins at 100 rpm around its main axis, which is aligned nearly parallel to the Earth's north-south axis.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 282.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


PAS 1 (PanAmSat 1) was the first, privately owned, international telecommunication satellite. It was originally built for Contel ASC as ASC 3 but was purchased before launch. It was primarily used for the main television channel of Panama. It was the first satellite to be able to serve five different American countries.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 1,220.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


AMSAT P3C (Phase 3C) was a repeat of P3B. It was renamed OSCAR 13 (AO 13) in orbit. It operated until November 1996, when the perigee dropped into the upper atmosphere layers, destroying the solar panels and finally leading to reentry on 6 December 1996.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 130.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


ELA-2, Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana, France



52nd orbital launch attempt

European Space Agency

9th mission
1st mission of 1988
7th successful mission
4th consecutive successful mission

Ariane 4

1st mission
1st mission of 1988
1st successful mission