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An Ariane 44L, with four liquid strap-on boosters, lifts off from the Launch Zone of the Ariane Launch Complex no.2 (ELA-2) at the Guiana Space Centre, Europe's space port, on October 5, 1998. The payloads for this dual launch (V111) were Eutelsat W2, a European communication satellite, and Sirius 3, a Swedish communication and direct broadcasting satellite. The Ariane 44L was the most powerful and most widely used version of the Ariane 4 series. Its initial payload capacity of 4,200 kg to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) was eventually increased to 4,950 kg through a series of upgrades. The Ariane 4 program was decided by ESA in 1982 to develop a modular family of launch vehicles based on the initial Ariane 1 to 3 designs in order to ensure continuity of Europe's guaranteed access to space. The development program was delegated to CNES, the French space agency. The maiden Ariane 4 was successfully flown on June 15, 1988. On behalf of ESA, Arianespace was in charge of industrial production, launch operations and marketing of Ariane 4. The 116th and last Ariane 4 was launched on February 15, 2003. The Ariane 4 was developed from the Ariane 2/3 design with a stretched first stage and a larger payload fairing. Ariane 4 could be declined in six versions with the adjunction of either two or four solid or liquid strap-on boosters, or a mix of two of each type.