#Photos: Australian, Indian telecom satellites take off on Ariane 5

A late afternoon launch from French Guiana on Wednesday sent two communications satellites into orbit aboard a European Ariane 5 rocket for the Australian and Indian governments.

Still and video imagery recorded the powerful 18-story rocket taking off from the tropical space base and climbing into a mostly clear sky on top of 2.9 million pounds of thrust.

Powered by a hydrogen-fueled Vulcain 2 main engine and two solid rocket boosters, the Ariane 5 blasted off from the ELA-3 launch pad at the Guiana Space Center on the northern coast of South America at 2030 GMT (4:30 p.m. EDT; 5:30 p.m. French Guiana time) Wednesday.

Its payloads were Sky Muster 2 and GSAT 18, satellites to connect rural Australian homes and businesses with broadband Internet and replace aging geostationary platforms beaming television and data services across India.

Read our full story.

Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – OV
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – OV
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – OV
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – OV
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – S. Martin
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – S. Martin
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – S. Martin
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – S. Martin
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron
Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – P. Piron

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

from Spaceflight Now ift.tt/2dQi8Zx

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