An Ariane 5 rocket climbed into space from French Guiana on Tuesday evening, hauling the Sky Brasil 1 and Telkom 3S communications satellites to orbit on the way to operating posts over Brazil and Indonesia.
Firing into an overcast sky just before sunset, the 180-foot-tall (55-meter) Ariane 5 took off on 2.9 million pounds of thrust from its twin solid-fueled rocket boosters and core Vulain 2 engine, burning a mix of cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants.
Liftoff occurred at 6:39 p.m. local time in French Guiana (2139 GMT; 4:39 p.m. EST) at the opening of the day’s launch window.
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