The launch of a European Ariane 5 rocket was aborted moments after its main engine ignited Tuesday. The dramatic last-second hold was the first time an Ariane rocket launch was aborted after engine start since March 2011. Arianespace has not set a new target launch date for the mission, which will loft two U.S.-built communications satellites for Intelsat and B-SAT.
Two geostationary communications satellites rode an Ariane 5 rocket into orbit Wednesday from a launch pad in French Guiana, embarking on missions to broadcast television across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, link European air travelers with Wi-Fi, and relay video and data signals across India.
A European Ariane 5 rocket lifted off Wednesday with the Hellas-Sat 3/Inmarsat S EAN satellite designed for television broadcasting and airborne connectivity in Europe, and India’s multipurpose GSAT 17 communications satellite. Launch from Kourou, French Guiana, occurred at 2115 GMT (5:15 p.m. EDT).
A pair of ViaSat and Eutelsat communications satellites — one to broadcast unparalleled high-speed Internet from space, and another to connect the Asia-Pacific — streaked into space Thursday from French Guiana atop an Ariane 5 rocket, setting records for the heaviest and most valuable commercial payload ever put into orbit.