A European environmental satellite designed to monitor Earth’s oceans, lakes and vegetation lifted off Wednesday aboard a modified Russian ballistic missile originally built to carry nuclear warheads. The mission launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome around 500 miles north of Moscow at 1757:51 GMT (1:57:51 p.m. EDT).
Boosted by two solid-fueled motors and a hydrogen-burning main engine, a European Ariane 5 rocket took off Thursday from French Guiana with a Japanese military communications payload and a U.S.-built, British-owned broadband satellite, returning to service after a January mission placed two spacecraft in the wrong orbit.
Arianespace will convene an independent inquiry board chaired by a top European Space Agency official to investigate why an Ariane 5 rocket flew off course Thursday night after liftoff from French Guiana with the SES 14 and Al Yah 3 telecom satellites, but both payloads will be salvaged to accomplish their planned missions, officials said Friday.
A European Ariane 5 rocket took off from French Guiana and delivered two commercial communications satellites and a NASA scientific package to orbit Thursday after an unexpected radio blackout raised worries that the mission failed. But questions lingered early Friday about the accuracy of the payload deployments.