Ariane rocket orbits satellites for Mexico, Thailand
A heavy-lift Ariane-5 rocket put telecommunications satellites into orbit for Mexico and Thailand after a launch from French Guiana late on Saturday, space officials said. The rocket blasted-off from Europe's space base in Kourou, on the northeast coast of South America at 6:09 p.m. (2109 UTC).
Twenty-seven minutes after the launch, the rocket released into a preliminary orbit Satmex-6, a 5.7 tonne satellite for Mexico's Satelites Mexicanos built in California by Space Systems/Loral. Satmex-6 is designed to increase telecommunications and internet coverage throughout the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America, company officials said.
Five minutes later, the rocket orbited Thaicom-5, a 2.7 tonne satellite for Bangkok-based telecoms operator Shin Satellite. Thaicom-5 will provide telecommunications and television broadcasting throughout Asia, the Pacific, Europe and Africa.
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