An Ariane 5 rocket will launch 2 satellites for Japan, Korea today. Watch it live!

An Ariane 5 rocket stands ready for launch at the Guiana Space Center on Feb. 17, 2020.
An Ariane 5 rocket stands ready for launch at the Guiana Space Center on Feb. 17, 2020. (Image credit: Stéphane Israël/Arianespace/Twitter)

An Ariane 5 rocket will launch two new satellites for Japan and South Korea today (Feb. 18), and you can watch it live online.

The Ariane 5 rocket, built by the European launch provider Arianespace, will lift off from the Guiana Space Center near Kourou, French Guiana, during a 58-minute launch window that opens at 5:18 p.m. EST (2218 GMT)

Tune in live here at, courtesy of Arianespace, or watch it on YouTube. The live webcast should begin about 15 minutes before liftoff. 

In photos: Ariane 5 rocket lofts 2 satellites into orbit for Eutelsat, India

Riding to orbit on top of the Ariane 5 rocket is the JCSAT-17 communications satellite, which will provide "flexible, high-bandwidth communications to users in Japan and the surrounding region," Arianespace officials said in a statement. That satellite is owned by the Tokyo-based operator Sky Perfect JSAT.

The other payload is the Earth-imaging satellite GEO-Kompsat-2B, which will monitor our planet's oceans and other environmental factors to provide data for weather forecasters and other scientists. Operated by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, the satellite will work in tandem with GEO-Kompsat-2A, which launched in 2018.

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

OFFER: Save at least 56% with our latest magazine deal!

OFFER: Save at least 56% with our latest magazine deal!

All About Space magazine takes you on an awe-inspiring journey through our solar system and beyond, from the amazing technology and spacecraft that enables humanity to venture into orbit, to the complexities of space science.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

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.