An Ariane 5 rocket lifts off with two telecommunications satellites
Eva Deschamps / October 24, 2021
An Ariane 5 rocket took off Saturday from Kourou, in French Guiana, with several satellites on board, including a military communication satellite presented as a technological jewel.
The rocket left at 23H10 local time, after a postponement of the launch on Friday. The countdown was stopped at 9:56 p.m. local time, five minutes before the best time of the launch window, but finally resumed at 11:03 p.m.
There was a doubt on the data returned by a sensor of the cryogenic main stage pressurization system. Tests were performed and allowed the doubt to be cleared, Arianespace explained about this interruption.
The rocket carried a total of two communications satellites: SES-17, a communications satellite operated by the Luxembourg-based SES group, and Syracuse 4A, a military communications satellite developed for the French Ministry of the Army.
Ordered by the French defense procurement agency (DGA), Syracuse 4A will enable the French armed forces to remain permanently connected during their deployments, according to Arianespace's mission presentation.
SES-17 will provide coverage of the Americas, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean. It is designed to revolutionize in-flight connectivity for aircraft users, meet the high demand for data transmission in the maritime transportation sectors and accelerate digital inclusion initiatives.
The mission was scheduled to last 38 minutes and 41 seconds from liftoff.