October 13, 2005

Ariane rocket launches French, U.S. satellites

KOUROU, French Guiana (Reuters) - A European Ariane rocket sent a French military satellite and an American commercial satellite into orbit after a launch from French Guiana late on Thursday.

The Ariane-5 rocket blasted-off from the European Space Agency's launch site in Kourou, French Guiana on the northeast coast of South America at 7.32 p.m. (2232 GMT).

Thirty minutes after the launch, it released Syracuse 3B, a satellite for France's Ministry of Defense. Syracuse is designed for secure communications to French military forces worldwide.

Ten minutes later, the Galaxy 15 satellite was deployed for American operator PanAmSat. It will be used for television, cable and broadband services throughout the United States.

Thursday's launch was the third Ariane mission this year.