An Ariane 5 rocket emerged from the final assembly building at the Guiana Space Center in South America on Monday for the journey across the tropical spaceport to the ELA-3 launch zone, where the 179-foot-tall (54.8-meter) booster will lift off Tuesday with a pair of commercial communications satellites.
India’s most powerful communications satellite will soon be flown back to its manufacturing plant in Bangalore for additional checks, officials said this week, forcing Arianespace to scrap plans for an Ariane 5 launch in late May that was to be co-manifested with a U.S.-built television broadcast satellite for Intelsat and the government of Azerbaijan.
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.