A European Ariane 5 rocket will propel two communications satellites from a standstill to a speed of nearly 21,000 mph (9,365 meters per second) in 25 minutes during a launch Friday from French Guiana.
The nearly 180-foot-tall (55-meter) launcher will blast off from Kourou, French Guiana, at 2030 GMT (4:30 p.m. EDT; 5:30 p.m. French Guiana time) on its third flight of the year with the EchoStar 18 and BRIsat communications satellites.
Both made by Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California, the spacecraft will ride aboard the Ariane 5 in a dual-payload stack. The larger of the two satellites, EchoStar 18, will deploy first, followed by separation of BRIsat around 42 minutes after liftoff.
The rocket will target an orbit ranging from 155 miles (250 kilometers) to 22,224 miles (35,766 kilometers), with a tilt of 6 degrees to the equator.
Date source: Arianespace
T-0:00:00: Vulcain 2 ignition
T+0:00:07: Solid rocket booster ignition and liftoff
A communications satellite destined to serve the Indian military is set to blast off from the country’s east coast Wednesday aboard a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle on the seventh and last launch of the year for the Indian space program.
Arianespace chief executive Stephane Israel announced an anomaly occurred during Thursday’s flight of an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, shortly after the launcher’s second stage engine ignited.
A Falcon 9 booster that flew into space last year is set to launch again Thursday from Florida’s Space Coast with an SES communications satellite on a historic mission that could make major strides in validating SpaceX’s audacious goal of recovering and reusing launchers, an achievement the company says will revolutionize the rocket business. Liftoff is set for 6:27 p.m. EDT (2227 GMT).