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Ariane 5 rocket puts two European satellites into orbit

Aerian 5 rocket with two telecommunication satellites lifts off from the French Guiana Spaceport. Image credit: Arianespace

PARIS (BNS): Europe has launched two telecommunication satellites on board an Ariane 5 ECA rocket and placed them into geostationary transfer orbits.

The two satellites – Amazonas 2 civilian relay platform for Spain's Hispasat operator, and Germany’s COMSATBw-1 military communications satellite for German armed forces – blasted off from the European Spaceport in French Guiana near here at 11:59 pm local time on Thursday, Arianespace said.

The V191 flight, the 47th Ariane 5 launch, put the twin satellites into their transfer orbits about 27 and 33 minutes after lift-off, respectively.

Amazonas 2 will operate in the Ku- and C-bands, relaying a wide range of communication services, including direct-to-home television to the Americas. ComSatBw-1 military satellite will cater to the German Bundeswehr armed forces.

Arianespace and Europe’s Spaceport are planning seven Ariane launches during 2009, maintaining the heavy-lift vehicle’s flight rate. Between August 2007 and August 2008, nine Ariane rockets have been launched.

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