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TMCNet:  Ariane 5 wraps up year-ending mission

[December 20, 2012]

Ariane 5 wraps up year-ending mission

PARIS, Dec 20, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Arianespace has successfully carried out the year-ending Ariane 5 launch mission, orbiting two telecommunications satellite into space on Wednesday from the space center in French Guiana, the satellite launching company announced.

This year-ending mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, and the liftoff took place on Wednesday evening at 6:49 p.m. local time (2149 GMT).

"The Skynet 5D and Mexsat Bicentenario satellites were lofted on the heavy-lift Ariane 5 launcher's 53 consecutive successful mission," Arianespace addressed.

According to the airspace company, Skynet 5D was launched on behalf of Astrium Services, which will provide secure telecommunications services to the British Ministry of Defense, NATO and other countries which already use the Skynet family of military communications satellites. Arianespace has already launched seven Skynet satellites for the British Defense Ministry.

In the meanwhile, the Mexsat Bicentenario telecommunications satellite was launched for the Mexican Secretariat of Communications and Transport. It will provide telecommunications services across the country and it is the 23rd satellite built by Orbital Sciences Corporation to be launched by Arianespace.

Arianespace stressed that this successful mission, the seventh for Ariane 5 in 2012, further confirmed Arianespance's position as "the world's benchmark launch system for all telecommunications operators, whether civil or military." "Arianespace's Ariane 5 flight with the Skynet 5D and Mexsat Bicentenario satellite passengers today wrapped up another busy year of company launch activity," the company added.

During 2012, Arianespace performed a total of 10 missions from the Spaceport in French Guiana, led by the heavy-lift Ariane 5 with its 10-metric-ton payload lift performance, which has logged 53 consecutive successes during the past 10 years.

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