The sixth Ariane 5 of 2009 has successfully launched its two payloads, the Thor 6 and NSS-12 spacecraft, into their respective orbits in space.

The 5,620kg NSS-12 satellite built by Space Systems / Loral for telecommunications operator SES World Skies was released first, 26 minutes into the flight.

The spacecraft, fitted with 40 C-band and 48 Ku-band transponders, will provide telecommunications and direct-to-home (DTH) television broadcast services for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Thor 6, designed for Telenor Satellite Broadcasting and carried in the lower passenger position of Ariane 5’s payload stack, separated from the launcher 31 minutes into the flight.

The Thales Alenia-built satellite weighs 3,050kg and is fitted with 36 Ku-band transponders to deliver high-power, DTH television services to the Nordic region and throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

The Ariane 5 rocket delivered a total payload of 9,515kg, which includes the two satellites, a dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware for the launch vehicle.