Ariane 5 Rocket Launching 2 Satellites Today: Watch It Live!

The European rocket launch service Arianespace will launch two new communications satellites for Europe today (June 20), and you can watch the liftoff live online. 

The Ariane 5 rocket is scheduled to lift off from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, at 5:43 p.m. EDT (2143 GMT). A live webcast of the mission will begin approximately 15 minutes before liftoff. You can watch it here on Space.com or directly via Arianespace's YouTube.  

For this mission, Arianespace will launch the T-16 satellite (also known as DirecTV 16) for AT&T, and the Eutelsat 7C satellite for the Paris-based company Eutelsat Communications, according to Arianespace's description of the mission

Related: Ariane 5: European Heavy-Lift Rocket

DirecTV 16 will provide high-power broadband television services over all 50 U.S. states as well as Puerto Rico. The spacecraft, which was built by the German contractor Airbus Defence and Space, will operate on Ku- and Ka-band frequencies. 

The second satellite, Eutelsat 7C, will also provide television broadcast services, but over Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Turkey. That satellite was built by SSL, a subsidiary of the California-based company Maxar Technologies.

After the Ariane 5 reaches space, DirecTV 16 will be the first satellite to separate from the rocket's upper stage. That separation is scheduled to occur 27 minutes and 43 seconds after liftoff. Eutelsat 7C will separate 33 minutes and 59 seconds after liftoff. 

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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