Ariane in successful launch, last of 2010

Dec. 29, 2010 at 9:02 PM
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KOUROU, French Guiana, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Europe's Ariane launch rocket completed is final mission of 2010, lifting two satellites into orbit from its French Guiana launch pad, officials said.

The successful Wednesday launch took place at the Kourou spaceport, the BBC reported.

The heavy-lift rocket carried the 5.3-ton Hisasat-1E satellite, intended to deliver a range of video and data services to Europe and the Americas, into orbit, as well as a 2.7-ton satellite handling television and telecommunications for South Korea.

"It's the 41st consecutive success of Ariane 5 and in 2010 we will have launched a total of 12 large telecommunications satellites out of a world total of 20," Jean-Yves Le Gall, the chairman and chief executive officer of Arianespace, said. "This gives us a market share of 60 percent."

The Ariane's first launch of 2011 will probably be a re-supply mission to the International Space Station, carrying more than 6 tons of fuel, air, food and equipment for the station's astronauts, the BBC reported.

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