Ariane rocket launches two television satellites

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An Ariane-5 rocket placed two television satellites in orbit after blasting off from French Guiana yesterday, space officials said.
The rocket lifted off from the European Space Agency’s launch centre in Kourou on the northeast coast of South America at 5:00 pm (2000 GMT).
Twenty-seven minutes after launch, the rocket released the NSS-12 satellite for Luxembourg-based telecoms operator SES Global.
NSS-12 will provide television and telecommunications to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. It was built in the United States by Space Systems/Loral.
Five minutes later, Thor-6 for Norwegian operator Telenor separated from the rocket.
Thor will broadcast direct-to-home television to Scandinavia and central and Eastern Europe.
Thor was built by the Franco-Italian satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space.
The company is 67 % owned by France’s Thales and 33 percent by Italy’s Finmeccanica.
Yesterdays launch was the 34th consecutive successful mission of the Ariane rocket series.