Ariane 5's seventh launch this year
An Ariane 5 lifted off this evening to deliver two telecom satellites, Star One-D1 and JCSat-15, into their planned orbits.
Arianespace announced liftoff at 20:30 GMT (17:30 local time, 21:30 CET) from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana for a dual payload mission lasting about 43 minutes.
Star One-D1, with a mass of 6433 kg at liftoff, was the first satellite to be released, about 29 minutes into the mission. The 3400 kg JCSat-15 was released 14 minutes later.
Star One-D1, owned by Embratel Star One, will handle broadcasting, broadband, Internet access and other digital applications over Brazil, Latin America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
JCSat-15, owned by SKY Perfect JSat, will offer a range of communications services for Japan, including broadcasting, data transfer, and maritime and aeronautical applications for the Oceania and Indian Ocean regions.
Both satellites are designed to last more than 15 years.
The payload mass for this launch was 10 722 kg. The satellites totalled about 9833 kg, with payload adapters and carrying structures making up the rest.
Flight VA234 was the 90th Ariane 5 launch, and the seventh this year.