Image: Ariane launch
Europe's Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket rises from its launch pad in French Guiana on Wednesday night, carrying the Arabsat 5C and SES-2 satellites into space.
updated 9/21/2011 10:56:43 PM ET 2011-09-22T02:56:43

A European rocket carrying two telecommunications satellites has been launched from South America after a one-day delay caused by a strike.

Arianespace says its Ariane 5 rocket released the first satellite for the Arab Satellite Communications Organization into orbit about 27 minutes after taking off Wednesday from the launch center in French Guiana.

The second one, for European satellite company SES, was released about eight minutes later.

Arianespace is the commercial arm of the 13-country European Space Agency.

The launch had been scheduled for Tuesday, but SES announced then that a walkout by a local trade union would delay the operation.

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