Arianespace launches rocket with 2 satellites

July 6, 2012

(AP) — The European space consortium Arianespace has launched telecommunications and weather observation satellites into orbit from its center in French Guiana.

The satellites were put into orbit during a 34-minute flight on Thursday evening.

The company says one satellite taken aloft by the Ariane 5 was one of the largest telecom satellites ever built for an American private operator, the Maryland-based Hughes Network Systems LLC. It had a liftoff mass of roughly 6,100 kilograms and will deliver broadband services across North America.

The other was a weather that will provide imagery of Europe, the North Atlantic and Africa.

has 21 shareholders from 10 European countries, including France's CNES space agency.

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