An Ariane 5 rocket soared into orbit from French Guiana on Jan. 25 with the commercial SES 14 and Al Yah 3 communications satellite, but the launcher missed its mark and released the telecom craft into an unplanned orbit.
Officials from SES and Yahsat, the companies which own the two payloads, said their satellites will recover from the off-target launch and still be able to achieve their commercial telecom missions.
The 180-foot-tall (55-meter) rocket blasted off from the Guiana Space Center on the northern coast of South America at 2220 GMT (5:20 p.m. EST; 7:20 p.m. French Guiana time) on Jan. 25. It was the 97th flight of an Ariane 5 rocket, and the 241st Ariane rocket mission overall since 1979.
Read details about the mission in our earlier story.
Photos of the launch from Kourou, French Guiana, are posted below, showing the Ariane 5’s liftoff from the ELA-3 launch zone and climb-out from the jungle spaceport, soaring by the moon as it headed over the Atlantic Ocean.
The images were captured by remote cameras placed near the launch pad, and from the viewing deck at the Jupiter control center southeast of the launch pad.
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