Feeds

Ariane 5 launches; doesn't explode

Enormous rocket fires up Hot Bird

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Ariane 5 rocket, the Shire horse of space freight, has blasted off from French Guiana carrying two communications satellites.

Originally pencilled in for 21 February, technical problems with ground support equipment, the payload, and the upper stage of the launcher forestalled the beast's fourth launch three times.

Lift-off finally occured at 22:32GMT on Saturday. The payload comprised a 3.7 tonne secure Spanish defence satellite, and Hot Bird; a promising-sounding, but actually stroke-inducingly mundane 4.1 tonne high-definition broadcast satellite.

Ariane 5 can shift payloads of up to 9.6 tonnes. It released SPAINSAT and Hot Bird into geostationary orbit over Europe five minutes apart.

The beefy rocket is the cornerstone of the European space programme, and a money-maker for the ESA. With Boeing's goliath 14 tonne-capable Delta 4-Heavy earmarked for defence ops, Ariane has the commercial heavy-lifting market to itself.

The unmanned Ariane 5 launches have always made for noteworthy events thanks to the double-header of the gut-wrenching power of the rocket and the extra spice added by the ever-present threat of it exploding at any second. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.