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article imageArianespace has 'lost contact' with Ariane 5 rocket

By AFP     Jan 25, 2018 in Science

Arianespace's mission control has "lost contact" with an Ariane 5 rocket carrying two commercial satellites after its lift-off from French Guiana, CEO Stephane Israel announced late Thursday.

The European space workhorse blasted off at 7.20 pm (2220 GMT) from the Kourou Space Centre and was planning to put satellites into orbit for Luxembourg's SES and the United Arab Emirate's Yahsat.

It was the first launch of 2018 for Arianespace, a French-headquartered multinational launch service provider that includes Europe's Galileo navigation project among its key clients.

Israel apologised to customers for what he described as an "anomaly". When contacted by AFP, Arianespace promised further updates.

Since it was founded in 1980, Arianespace has put more than 550 satellites into orbit.

In September the company aborted the launch of an Ariane 5 rocket carrying two commercial satellites in the final countdown as the main engine was being ignited.

An Ariane 5 lift-off was also aborted at main engine ignition in March 2011.

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