The Ariane 5 rocket’s 90th launch Wednesday carried two communications satellites to orbit to join the fleets of Embratel Star One and SKY Perfect JSAT, regional space-based telecom providers in Brazil and Japan.
The 180-foot-tall (55-meter) rocket blasted off at 2030 GMT (3:30 p.m. EST; 5:30 p.m. French Guiana time) Wednesday from the European-run Guiana Space Center on the northern shore of South America.
Riding 2.9 million pounds of thrust from a hydrogen-fueled Vulcain 2 main engine and two solid rocket motors, the Ariane 5 pitched on an easterly course from French Guiana, transiting the Atlantic Ocean in less than a half-hour before releasing the Star One D1 and JCSAT 15 communications satellites in orbit.
The launch marked the 76th successful Ariane 5 flight in a row, and Arianespace’s 11th mission of 2016.
The photos below show Wednesday’s launch from the view of remote cameras placed near the ELA-3 launch complex, the Toucan viewing site around 3 miles (5 kilometers) away from the launch pad, and elsewhere around the spaceport, which covers an area of about 270 square miles (700 square kilometers), roughly the size of Singapore.
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