An Ariane 5 rocket will fire into the sky from French Guiana just after sunset Tuesday and deliver two payloads to orbit for Intelsat, one of the world’s largest commercial satellite operators, and Broadcasting Satellite System Corp. of Japan.
The nearly 180-foot-tall (55-meter) launcher will blast off from Kourou, French Guiana, at 2151 GMT (5:51 p.m. EDT; 6:51 p.m. French Guiana time) on its fifth flight of the year with the Intelsat 37e and BSAT 4a communications satellites.
Made in California by Boeing and Space Systems/Loral, respectively, Intelsat 37e and BSAT 4a will ride aboard the Ariane 5 in a dual-payload stack. The larger of the two satellites, Intelsat 37e, will deploy first, followed by separation of BSAT 4a around 47 minutes after liftoff.
The rocket will target an orbit ranging from 155 miles (250 kilometers) to 22,186 miles (35,706 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 United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket climbed into space Saturday from California with a $1.6 billion polar-orbiting weather satellite for NOAA, the first of four upgraded observatories designed to keep vital meteorological data flowing to forecasters for the next two decades.
Boeing said Tuesday the first orbital test flight of its commercial crew capsule, named the Starliner, will be delayed until August “in order to avoid unnecessary schedule pressure” and give priority on the Atlas 5 rocket’s manifest to a U.S. Air Force communications satellite. NASA confirmed Wednesday that officials have approved an extension of the Starliner’s first crewed mission to last up to several months.