Practice your French counting skills and enjoy a beautiful night launch all in one fell swoop! An Ariane 5 rocket launched last night (May 15 at 22:13 GMT) from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, sending two telecommunications satellites to space. The satellites, JCSAT-13 and Vinasat-2, were successfully and accurately injected into their transfer orbits about 26 minutes and 36 minutes after liftoff, respectively. This was the 62nd Ariane 5 launch, and the second this year. In March, an Ariane 5 rocket sent the ATV-3 “Edoardo Amaldi” to the International Space Station.
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.