A communications satellite to broadcast high-speed Internet to remote parts of Australia and a new platform to beam television and multimedia programming across India are fastened to the top of an Ariane 5 rocket for launch Tuesday.
Standing nearly 180 feet (55 meters) tall, the Ariane 5 is scheduled to lift off from Kourou, French Guiana, at 2030 GMT (4:30 p.m. EDT; 5:30 p.m. French Guiana time) Tuesday. The launch will mark the 88th Ariane 5 flight since 1996, and the launcher’s fifth mission this year.
The Sky Muster 2 satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral and weighing 14,120 pounds (6,405 kilograms) at launch, is the heavier of the two spacecraft aboard the Ariane 5 rocket. GSAT 18, built and owned by the Indian Space Research Organization, weighs 7,504 pounds (3,404 kilograms) with its propellant tanks full.
The rocket will target an orbit ranging from 155 miles (250 kilometers) to 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers), with a tilt of 6 degrees to the equator.
Date source: Arianespace
T-0:00:00: Vulcain 2 ignition
T+0:00:07: Solid rocket booster ignition and liftoff