Unimpeded by rain showers and a dark gray blanket of low clouds, an Ariane 5 rocket thundered away from a European-run space base in the jungle of French Guiana Tuesday to place four Galileo navigation satellites in orbit, an on-target deployment that should improve the location accuracy of new smartphones around the world.
Four European navigation satellites fastened on top of an Ariane 5 rocket lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana, at 1836:07 GMT (1:36:07 p.m. EST) Tuesday to propel the Galileo navigation network closer to global service. The Ariane 5’s upper stage delivered the spacecraft to a circular orbit more than 14,000 miles above Earth around four hours after launch.
Watch a video replay of Friday night’s blastoff of a Soyuz rocket from the Guiana Space Center with Hispasat 36W-1, a communications satellite developed by OHB in Germany for Spain’s Hispasat to test out new telecom technologies and provide data networking, video and broadband services over South America and Europe.
A Russian Soyuz rocket lifted off Friday night from a tropical spaceport in French Guiana with a commercial communications satellite setting off on a dual mission to demonstrate new space technologies and bridge the Atlantic with data, video and voice relays. Launch occurred at 0103:34 GMT Saturday (8:03:34 p.m. EST Friday).