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Ariane rocket puts two satellites into orbit

A heavy-lift Ariane-5 rocket blasted off from French Guiana on Friday putting into orbit two telecommunications satellites, space officials said.
/ Source: Reuters

A heavy-lift Ariane-5 rocket blasted off from French Guiana on Friday putting into orbit two telecommunications satellites, space officials said.

The rocket was launched from Europe's space base in Kourou, on the northeast coast of South America, at 7.29 p.m. (2229 GMT).

High altitude winds meant the first launch attempt was scrapped on Thursday.

Twenty-seven minutes after launch, the rocket released into a preliminary orbit Astra 1L, a 4.5 metric tonne satellite designed to provide direct-to-home broadcasting throughout Europe for SES Astra, a division of Luxembourg-based SES Global.

Five minutes later Galaxy 17, designed to provide telecommunications throughout the United States for Washington-based operator Intelsat separated from the rocket.

Friday's launch was the 9th consecutive successful launch of a heavy-lift Ariane-5 rocket.