Asia-Pacific region getting new telecommunications satellite

The world's heaviest commercial satellite with European Ariane-5 rocket aboard, which will provide Internet service to 14 Asia-Pacific countries, was launched Thurthday.

The rocket blasted off from the Kourou launch center in French Guiana at 5:20 a.m. local time.

Thai operator Shinsat's IPSTAR satellite has a takeoff mass of 6.5 metric tons (7.15 short tons), the AP reports.

The previous record for the heaviest satellite was Canadian telecommunications satellite Anik-F2, at 5.9 tons (6.5 short tons). That was launched by an Ariane-5 on July 18, 2004.

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