Arianespace to carry foreign satellites

European consortium Arianespace will launch two telecom satellites, one Mexican and one Thai, from French Guiana this week after a blastoff was postponed because of equipment alerts, according to an Associated Press report.

The report said following additional checks of the launch vehicle, Arianespace would send up the Ariane-5 ECA rocket with the Satmex 6 and Thaicom 5 satellites from Kourou, French Guiana.
The Ariane-5's payload would be its heaviest yet, at 8.2 tons, the report said.
The launch vehicle would carry satellites for recently privatized Satelites Mexicanos (Satmex), the leading satellite telecom provider in Latin America, and for Shin Satellite Public Co. Ltd., which operated satellite communications services over Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa, the report said.
Arianespace is also building a launch pad for Russian Soyuz rockets in Kourou, and the first Soyuz takeoff is set for November 2008.

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