A Soyuz rocket took off from French Guiana on Thursday with the SES 15 communications satellite, a craft heading for an orbit more than 22,000 miles over the equator to provide airborne wifi and aeronautical navigation services over the United States.
The 151-foot-tall (46-meter) rocket, topped with a Fregat upper stage, lifted off at 1154:53 GMT (7:54:53 a.m. EDT; 8:54:53 a.m. French Guiana time) from a launch pad at the Guiana Space Center on the northeastern shore of South America.
The Russian-made rocket delivered SES 15 to its intended orbit more than five hours later, releasing the Boeing-made satellite to begin maneuvering into its final operational position with electric xenon-ion thrusters.
The successful launch was the fifth flight by Arianespace this year, and the 17th time a Soyuz rocket has blasted off from South America.
Read our full story on the mission.
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