Arianespace launches two satellites into orbit

French firm Arianespace successfully launched two communications satellites into orbit from its South American base in French Guiana, the European space consortium, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.

The report said the Ariane-5 rocket lifted off from French Guiana through clear skies, deploying the DirecTV 9S for US digital television service provider DirecTV, and the Optus D1 telecom spacecraft for Australia's Optus, according to a statement from Arianespace, the commercial arm of the 13-country European Space Agency.

The DirecTV 9S weighed about 12,200 pounds. Its broadcast platform was built by US satellite manufacturer Space Systems/Loral, based in California, the report said.

The Optus D1, weighing about 5,180 pounds, would provide fixed communications and broadcasting satellite services over New Zealand and Australia. It was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, based in Virginia, the report said.

The launch was the consortium's fourth this year, the report further said.

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