french_guyanna_flag.jpgThe European space consortium Arianespace launched telecommunications and weather observation satellites into orbit during a 34-minute flight July 5.

The company says one satellite taken aloft by the Ariane 5 rocket is one of the largest telecom satellites ever built for an American private operator, the Maryland-based Hughes Network Systems LLC, and will deliver broadband services across North America.

The other is a weather satellite that will provide imagery of Europe, the North Atlantic and Africa. Arianespace has 21 shareholders from 10 European countries.