The first in a new generation of European weather satellites is set for launch Tuesday on a mission that promises to improve the timeliness and precision of weather forecasts for Europe and Africa, sharing a ride to space from French Guiana on an Ariane 5 rocket with two Intelsat communications satellites.
An Ariane 5 rocket launched at 5:45 p.m. EDT (2145 GMT) Wednesday from Kourou, French Guiana, with a powerhouse European broadband satellite owned by Eutelsat and built by Thales Alenia Space. The Eutelsat Konnect VHTS satellite will beam internet connectivity across Europe for fixed broadband consumers and in-flight WiFi.
The James Webb Space Telescope, a NASA-led international collaboration that took nearly 30 years and $10 billion to get to the launch pad, finally left Earth with a Christmas morning rocket ride from a European spaceport in South America, setting off on a mission to hunt for the first light in the universe. That was just the easy part.