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 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. 

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Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.