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Space consortium launches rocket

European space consortium Arianespace has launched two television broadcasting satellites into orbit from its Guiana Space Centre in South America.

One satellite taken aloft by an Ariane 5 ECA rocket is owned by Luxembourg-based SES Astra.

The other is owned by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems of the US under contract for Japan's B-SAT and SKY Perfect JSAT.

Arianespace has 21 shareholders from 10 European countries, including France's CNES space agency.

The company says it has launched more than half of the commercial satellites in service worldwide.

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