The Ariane-5 vehicle has successfully launched two satellite payloads, JCSAT-12 and Optus D3, into their designated orbits.

The 2,500kg Optus D3, built by Orbital Sciences for Australian operator Optus, will provide direct television broadcasting services to Australia and New Zealand.

The satellite, based on the Star 2 platform, will be positioned at 156°E and will have a design life of 15 years.

The 4,000kg JCSAT-12 has been built by Lockheed for SKY Perfect JSAT.

It is fitted with 12 C-band and 30 Ku-band transponders to provide communications services to Japan, Oceania, Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region.

The satellites were placed into orbit by the fourth Ariane-5 rocket launched in 2009. The rocket is the only launch vehicle that has the capability to simultaneously launch two payloads.