Live: Ariane 5 VA247 Launch

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Arianespace is set to kick off their 2019 launch campaign with the launch of two communications satellites. The mission designated VA247 will launch aboard an Ariane 5 from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. VA247 is expected to be launched at 21:01 UTC (18:01 local time).

Flight Sequence
+01 s – Ignition of the cryogenic main stage (EPC)
+07.05s – Ignition of solid boosters (EAP)
+07.3s – Liftoff
+12.7s – End of vertical climb, beginning of pitch motion
+17.05s – Beginning of roll manoeuvre
+ 32.05s – End of roll manoeuvre
+2 min 24s – EAP separation
+3 min 21s – Fairing jettisoned
+7 min 47s – Acquisition by Natal tracking station
+8 min 41s – End of EPC thrust phase
+8 min 47s – EPC separation
+8 min 51s – Ignition of ESC-A stage
+13 min 37s – Acquisition by Ascension tracking station
+18 min 17s – Acquisition by Libreville tracking station
+23 min – Acquisition by Malindi tracking station
+25 min 9s – Extinction of ESC-A stage
+25 min 11s – Injection
+27 min 21s – HS-4/SGS-1 satellite separation
+29 min 35s – SYLDA separation
+42 min 27s – GSAT-31 satellite separation

The VA247 launch will deploy two communication satellites into geostationary orbits. The first is the HS-4/SGS-1 (Hellas-Sat4/SaudiGeoSat-1), a satellite developed by Lockheed Martin for KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology) and Arabsat. The second is the GSAT-31, a satellite developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation for the country’s Indian National Satellite System (INSAT) constellation. Read more

The Ariane 5 is a two-stage expendable heavy-lift launch vehicle developed by the ArianeGroup (now Airbus Defence and Space). The rocket was first launched in June 1996 and since then, the various iterations of Ariane 5 rockets have been launched 102 times suffering 2 failures and 3 partial failures. In 2018, the Ariane 5 was launched 6 times suffering a single partial failure. Today’s launch is the first Ariane 5 launch of 2019. Read more

Launch facility
The Guiana Space Centre is located to the northwest of Kourou in French Guiana. Although in South America, French Guiana is considered to be part of France and as a result, the Guiana Space Centre is used exclusively by France, the ESA (European Space Authority) and their partners. Three orbital-class vehicles are launched from the facility namely the Ariane 5, Soyuz-ST (a variant of the Soyuz-2) and the diminutive Vega. Read more

Andrew Parsonson is a space enthusiast and the founder of Rocket Rundown. He has worked as a journalist and blogger for various industries for over 5 years and has a passion for both fictional and real-life space travel. Currently, Andrew is the primary writer for Rocket Rundown as we look to expand our reach and credibility.