On Aug. 6, 2019, Arianespace used an Ariane 5 rocket to launch two new communications satellites into orbit on a rideshare mission: Intelsat 39 and the first European Data Relay Satellite, EDRS-C. See photos of the mission here!
Full Story: Ariane 5 Rocket Launches 2 New Communications Satellites (opens in new tab)
An Ariane 5 rocket designated VA249 launches the Intelsat 39 and EDRS-C communications satellites into orbit on Aug. 6, 2019.
A trail of smoke
A long-distance shot of the launch shows the Ariane 5 rocket leaving a trail of smoke as it takes to the skies.
Up, up and away!
The Ariane 5 rocket rides a pillar of flames and smoke into the sky after lifting off from the Guiana Space Center.
Ariane 5 profile
The Ariane 5 rocket completed a planned roll maneuver on its way to space. The roll began 17 seconds after liftoff and lasted 15 seconds.
After the Ariane 5 rocket's two side boosters separated, they could be seen falling to Earth while the rocket's upper stage continued into orbit.
The payload fairing that provided a protective shell for the two satellites during the launch was jettisoned 2 minutes and 21 seconds after liftoff. Here, you can see the fairing falling back to Earth in a screenshot from Arianespace's webcast of the mission.
Rocket on a roll
The Ariane 5 rocket rolls out to launch zone ELA-3 at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, on Aug. 5, 2019.
EDRS-C fuels up
The EDRS-C satellite is loaded with propellant at the Guiana Spaceport's payload preparation facility.
Acoustic tests with EDRS-C
In Ottobrunn, Germany, the European Space Agency's laser satellite EDRS-C undergoes final testing at Airbus Defence & Space before being shipped to the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana.
Intelsat 39 tests at Maxar
Intelsat 39 undergoes testing at the Maxar Technologies manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, California, where it was built.
EDRS-C prepped for launch
EDRS-C, the second satellite to join the European Data Relay System (EDRS) constellation, is mated with its launch vehicle at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.
Intelsat 39 fuels up
Intelsat 39 is fueled inside the Guiana Spaceport's payload preparation facility.
In the rocket fairing
The spacecraft fairing containing Intelsat 39 is ready for installation atop the Ariane 5 rocket.
An artist's impression of the Intelsat 39 communications satellite in orbit.
An artist's impression of the EDRS-C satellite in orbit.
Watch the launch replay!
Intelsat 39 & EDRS-C satellites explained