An Ariane 5 rocket is poised for a rare overnight launch early Wednesday, and these photos show the 180-foot-tall (55-meter) launcher on the eve of liftoff with a multi-mission Eutelsat communications satellite.
The launch at 0520 GMT (12:20 a.m. EST) will mark the 85th flight of an Ariane 5 rocket, and the heavy-lifter’s second mission of 2016.
The Eutelsat 65 West A communications satellite, with a launch mass of more than 6.5 metric tons (14,471 pounds), will broadcast in C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band, serving Latin America with broadband connectivity and direct-to-home television, and bridging the Americas and Europe to relay video content.
The spacecraft will expand television broadcast capacity over Brazil in time for the Rio Olympics in August.
It is owned by Paris-based Eutelsat and was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California.
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