updated 5/20/2011 5:53:47 PM ET 2011-05-20T21:53:47

An Ariane 5 rocket carrying satellites for the Indian Space Research Organization and Japan's Mitsubishi Electric Co. has been launched from French Guiana.

The commercial arm of the 13-nation European Space Agency says one satellite will serve businesses that include TV broadcasters and maritime companies in Asia and the Middle East. It is a joint venture of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. and Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Company Ltd.

The other satellite launched Friday is carrying 24 transponders that will bolster direct-to-home TV broadcast services across India. It also will provide aircraft navigation assistance over India and neighboring areas.

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