Ariane 5 Lofts Two Satellites

An Ariane 5 rocket roared from the European Spaceport in French Guiana on Friday, carrying two satellites into geostationary transfer orbits. The liftoff occurred at 2229 UTC (6:29 pm EDT), after a one day delay because of high-altitude winds. The satellites were released into their transfer orbits 30 minutes after launch.

The first satellite is the ASTRA 1L, which will join a dozen spacecraft in the SES ASTRA constellation. They provide television broadcast and data communications services to 109 million households in Europe.

The second satellite is the Galaxy 17 broadcast satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space, and launched for Intelsat. It became Intelsat’s 45th satellite launched aboard an Ariane rocket. Galaxy 17 will park above 74 degrees West above the equator, and provide broadcast services to North America.

This is the second Ariane 5 launch of the year; 4 more are planned.

Original Source: ESA News Release