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Ariane 5 Lofts Record Payload into Orbit.

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Ariane 5.
The heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA. Image credit: Arienspace.

An Ariane 5 rocket blasted off Thursday from Kourou, French Guiana carrying two satellites: Spaceway 2 broadcast satellite for DIRECTV, and the Telcom 2 communications satellite for PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk. The combined weight of the two satellites was more than 8,000 kg (17,500 pounds), making this the heaviest double payload ever launched.

During the night of Wednesday, November 16 to Thursday, November 17, Arianespace placed two satellites into geostationary transfer orbit: the SPACEWAY 2 high-definition direct broadcast satellite for the American operator DIRECTV, and the TELKOM 2 communications satellite for the Indonesian operator PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk.

20th successful Ariane 5 launch, 10th in a row, record payload.

Today's mission sets a new record for commercial launches: with over 8,000 kg. injected into orbit, the SPACEWAY 2 and TELKOM 2 satellites represent the heaviest dual payload ever launched.

Today, Ariane 5 is the only commercial launcher in service capable of simultaneously launching two payloads. Ariane 5 ECA offers a payload capacity of nearly 10,000 kg. into geostationary transfer orbit, giving Arianespace's customers enhanced performance, flexibility and competitiveness through the best launch service in the world.

Today's mission was the 20th successful launch of an Ariane 5, and the 10th successful launch in a row. One week after the successful launch of the Venus Express spacecraft by a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, this confirms that Arianespace, with its complete family of launchers, offers the best launch solution for operators from around the world.

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