An Ariane 5 rocket ignited its hydrogen-fueled Vulcain 2 main engine and two solid rocket boosters to send two Intelsat communications satellite into orbit this week, casting a brilliant glow across its launch base carved from the jungle of French Guiana.
The European launcher blasted off atop 2.9 million pounds of thrust at 2216 GMT (6:16 p.m. EDT; 7:16 p.m. French Guiana time) from the ELA-3 launch facility at the Guiana Space Center on the northeast coast of South America.
The Ariane 5 delivered the Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36 communications satellites to geostationary transfer orbit, marking the rocket’s 73rd straight success since 2003.
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