Arianespace successfully placed two Intelsat satellites into orbit, and at the same time managed to break a payload lift record.
An Ariane 5 rocket blasted off from French Guiana at 6.16 pm (EDT) and both the Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36 satellites were deployed within 42 minutes. The rocket carried a record payload of 10,735 kgs into orbit.
Moments later Intelsat confirmed that they had received signals confirming a successful launch and deployment of the pair.
Intelsat 33e, built by Boeing, will continue its geostationary transfer orbit and eventually be placed at 60 degrees East, and serve Africa, Europe, the Mid-East and Asia.
Intelsat 36, built by Space Systems/Loral will eventually be located at 68.5 degrees East and serve its key client MultiChoice as well as continue to provide capacity over the Indian Ocean regions.