Two American satellites designed to improve telephone and television service in the United States were in orbit today after a flawless launch into space by an Ariane rocket.

The Ariane 3 rocket lifted off at 8 p.m. Thursday (7 p.m. EDT) from the European Space Agency's launch site on the edge of the Guianian jungle, on the northeastern coast of South America.About 17 minutes later, the rocket attained orbit altitude and both of the satellites separated successfully from the vehicle.