2 communications satellites are launched into orbit by the Ariane 5 rocket from South America.

 On Wednesday night, a European heavy-lift rocket sent two communications satellites into orbit from South America (June 22).

On Wednesday at 5:50 p.m., an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket blasted off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. EDT (2150 GMT). Arianespace, located in France, took advantage of the remaining 47 minutes of the 100-minute launch window to do some additional inspections on the rocket.

On Wednesday's voyage, the Ariane 5 rocket, which will also carry NASA's James Webb Space Telescope into orbit on Dec. 25, 2021, carried two payloads, both of which were communications satellites.

By 40 minutes following launch, both satellites had been put into geostationary transfer orbit according to schedule, according to Arianespace officials.

The Malaysian communications operator MEASAT will fly one of the spacecraft, known as MEASAT-3d.

According to a mission description provided by Arianespace, "This new satellite will significantly improve broadband speeds of up to 100 Mbps [megabits per second] in areas with limited or no terrestrial network throughout Malaysia while continuing to provide redundancy and additional capacity for video distribution in HD, 4K, and eventually 8K in the Asia-Pacific region" (opens in new tab).

GSAT-24, the additional satellite that was launched on Wednesday, will be managed by NewSpace India Limited.

According to Arianespace spokespeople, "this satellite will offer premium television, telecommunications, and broadcasting services and will suit the DTH [direct to home] demands of Indian clients." Airbus Defence and Space constructed MEATSAT-3d, whereas the Indian Space Research Organization constructed GSAT-24. 

The satellites' missions are expected to last at least 18 and 15 years, respectively, in space. According to Arianespace, the two payloads weighed a combined 23,949 pounds (10,863 kilograms). The Ariane 5 is an expendable launch vehicle, unlike SpaceX's Falcon 9, which has a reusable first stage, therefore there was no rocket landing to be on the lookout for on Wednesday. The launch on Wednesday was Arianespace's second of the year.

More Soyuz launches under the control of Arianespace were planned for the first half of this year, but the relationship between the firm and Russia was severed following Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24.