On 11 August an Arianespace Ariane 5G successfully launched the 6,500kg (14,500lb) Space Systems/Loral-built Thaicom 4 (Ipstar) – the largest commercial communications satellite ever to be placed in a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). Thailand’s Shin Satellite will use Thaicom 4 to provide internet access and broadband services to over 14 Asia-Pacific region countries. Meanwhile, the European Space Agency’s Venus Express probe arrived in Baikonour, Kazahkstan, in preparation for its launch in October or November on a Soyuz booster with a Fregat upper stage.

Source: Flight International