Page last updated at 00:27 GMT, Friday, 30 October 2009

Ariane puts satellites in orbit

Ariane 5 (AFP)
The sixth Ariane flight of 2009

Europe's Ariane 5 rocket has launched another two telecommunications satellites into orbit.

Ariane sent the payloads into space from its Kourou base in French Guiana.

The 5,700-kg NSS-12 satellite is owned by SES World Skies and will deliver TV broadcasts to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

The 3,000-kg THOR-6 spacecraft will broadcast TV programmes to Scandinavia and central and Eastern Europe for Norwegian operator Telenor.

The 27-minute flight began at 1700 local time (2000 GMT).

It was the Ariane 5's 34th consecutive success and its sixth flight in 2009.

The vehicle remains on track to perform a total of seven missions this year, which will make 2009 the busiest year of launch activity since the rocket's commercial introduction in 1999.

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