Ariane rocket puts telecom satellites into orbit

By: AFP      Published: 02:16 PM, 16 Aug, 2020
Ariane rocket puts telecom satellites into orbit

A rocket that blasted off from French Guiana successfully placed two communications satellites into orbit Saturday, launch firm Arianespace said.

The Ariane 5 rocket took off at 2204 GMT from Kourou, the European Space Agency's space centre in the South American territory, the company said in a statement.

Two satellites on board -- belonging to the intergovernmental provider Intelsat and Japan's Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation -- were later successfully placed into orbit, Arianespace said.

A servicing vehicle that will dock with other satellites in orbit was also deployed, it added.

The launch -- the first for Arianespace since activities at Kourou were halted in March due to the coronavirus -- had originally been scheduled for July 28 but was delayed to allow for more "technical inspections".

Another delay followed due to "the unexpected behaviour of one sensor" for a liquid hydrogen tank.

On Thursday the launch was delayed for a third time due to unfavourable wind conditions.

Arianespace is a launch operator that puts satellites into orbit for the European Commission and European Space Agency.

Guiana, which is home to about 250,000 people, has been administered as a French region since the end of the 18th century.