May 23, 2010
Successful Launch For Arian 5 Rocket
After three postponements, an Ariane rocket successfully launched two telecommunications satellites into space from the European Space Agency's launch center in Kourou, French Guiana on Friday, space officials said.
The Ariane 5 rocket blasted off on the northeast coast of South America at 7:01 pm (2201 GMT) after being delayed three different times since March for a series of technical glitches.
The Astra 3B satellite separated from the Ariane rocket twenty-seven minutes after lift-off. Six minutes later COMSATBw-2 was released from the rocket.
Astra 3B will provide satellite television and telecommunications services throughout Europe for Luxembourg-based telecom SES SA. The satellite was built by Astrium, a satellite manufacturing unit of aerospace giant EADS.
The second satellite will provide secure communications for Germany's defense forces throughout the Americas and the Far East. It was built by Thales Alenia Space.
The Friday launch was the 36th consecutive success for the Ariane rocket.
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