Ariane rocket launches two telecoms satellites

April 23, 2011
This file photo shows the Ariane-5 rocket taking off from its lauch site in Kourou. An Ariane-5 rocket placed two telecommunications satellites into geostationary orbit, the 43rd successive success for the European rocket, Arianespace announced.

An Ariane-5 rocket placed two telecommunications satellites into geostationary orbit, the 43rd successive success for the European rocket, Arianespace announced.

The rocket blasted off from the European space centre at Kourou, French Guiana, at 2137 GMT Friday.

The 5.9-tonne satellite Yahsat Y1A built by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space will supply to the Middle East, Africa, Europe and South West Asia.

The Intelsat New Dawn satellite, weighing three tonnes at takeoff, will offer a range of services including telephone and Internet to Africa. It was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation.

Arianespace president Jean-Yves Le Gall acknowledged that the was three weeks late, after an "aborted" attempt on March 30.

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