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Rocket launches U.K., India satellites

/ Source: The Associated Press

A European rocket carrying two British and Indian satellites was successfully launched Sunday from South America after a one-day delay due to a technical glitch.

The Ariane-5 ECA rocket shuttled the British Defense Ministry's Skynet 5A satellite and India's Insat 4B civil communications satellite into orbit, said Jean-Yves Le Gall, chief executive officer of Arianespace, the commercial arm of the 13-country European Space Agency.

The launch had been rescheduled from Saturday because technicians experienced problems with the flow of coolant, Arianespace said.

Sunday's launch went smoothly, with the rocket deploying the British Defense Ministry's Skynet 5A satellite 26 minutes into the mission, followed four minutes later by India's INSAT 4B, Arianespace said in a statement.

It was the first launch of the year for Arianespace and its 175th overall since the European space consortium was created in 1980. The Guiana Space Center is located in French Guiana, a French overseas department on the northeast coast of South America.

The Insat 4B, the 13th Indian Space Research Organization satellite launched by Arianespace, will provide television and telecommunications services primarily to the Indian subcontinent.

The Skynet 5A, which private company Paradigm Secure Communications will operate for the Defense Ministry, will offer secure communications services for the British armed forces, NATO and other countries.