The fifth Ariane 5 launch vehicle has successfully placed two satellites, the Amazonas 2 and the ComSatBw-1 into geostationary transfer orbits.

Amazonas 2 will operate in the Ku and C bands offering a range of communications services including direct-to-home television coverage to the US from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.

ComSatBw-1 is a secure relay platform for the German Bundeswehr armed forces with a payload mass of 9,087kg and another 1,182kg for payload adapters and dispensers.

During the launch, Ariane 5’s cryogenic, liquid-propellant main engine was ignited first followed by ignition of the solid-propellant boosters.

The Amazonas 2 was separated from the upper stage of the rocket, 27 minutes into the flight followed by ComSatBw-1 at 33 minutes.

The blast-off is the fifth of seven Ariane 5 launches planned for 2009.