Ariane-5 rocket launch successful
A heavy-lift Ariane-5 rocket has successfully placed two telecommunications satellites in their respective orbits after a textbook launch from French Guiana late on Wednesday. This rocket is capable of carrying satellite payloads of up to 10 metric tons and it was launched from the Europe’s space base in Kourou on the northeast coast of South America at 8.46 p.m.
However, the entire mission did not go as originally planned. It has already seen repeated delays last week due to technical problems. The launch fortunately went perfectly and the rocket lit up the equatorial night sky and was visible from the ground for over three minutes. After 27 minutes into its flight, the rocket released into a preliminary orbit the Spaceway-2 satellite for U.S. direct-to-home television operator DIRECTV.
A little bit later, it placed Indonesia’s Telkom-2, a 2 ton (4,400 lb) satellite for Jakarta-based PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia. The first satellite weighed 6.1 metric tons (13,400 lb) at launch and will be used for high definition television throughout the United States. The second will provide telephone, data, and video transmissions across Southeast Asia and the Indian sub-continent.