Paris:  An Ariane 5 rocket took off from the European space centre at Kourou in French Guiana, before placing two Asia-Pacific telecoms satellites into orbit, the launch firm Arianespace said.

The twice-delayed launch took place at 7:05 pm (local time) and shortly afterwards the Measat-3b, of Malaysian operator Measat, and Optus 10, of Australian counterpart Optus were successfully placed into geostationary orbit.

The Measat satellite will expand telecoms and television services across Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Australia.

Australia’s Optus will provide direct TV broadcast, Internet connectivity, telephone and data transmission services for Australia, New Zealand and the Antarctic region.

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