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article imageDouble Feature Tuesday — See two rocket launches just hours apart

By Karen Graham     Aug 6, 2019 in Technology
This afternoon, two rockets will take off just hours apart from North and South America, giving space fans a back-to-back show of launch live streams. Both rockets are heading eastward over the Atlantic Ocean to deposit satellites into Earth orbit.
As a preview to the upcoming double feature, at 12:15 p.m. ET, the Cygnus cargo spacecraft departed the International Space Station (ISS), with NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina using the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the spacecraft back into the vacuum of space for its next mission.
Instead of heading straight back to Earth where it would burn up in the atmosphere, Cygnus has another mission. The spacecraft will stay in orbit for a few months to test a new CubeSat-deploying contraption called "SlingShot." The mission is being managed by the U.S. company Spaceflight, which has organized a number of recent rideshare missions.
Readers can view a video of the live-feed from earlier today of the release of the Cygnus spacecraft, above.
Ariane 5 rocket launch (3:30 p.m. ET)
European launch provider Arianespace will be launching two communications satellites on an Ariane 5 rocket this afternoon. The scheduled launch is expected to take place between 3:30 PM ET and 5:51 PM ET from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.
Ariane 5 is ready for liftoff in the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone. Flight VA249. Intelsat 39 and ...
Ariane 5 is ready for liftoff in the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone. Flight VA249. Intelsat 39 and EDRS-C on August 6, 2019.
Arianespace
This is the first launch for the company since its Vega rocket experienced a launch failure in July. The Ariane 5 will be carrying a payload consisting of a pair of communications satellites — one for the company Intelsat and another for the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus.
The Intelsat 39 telecommunications satellite will serve "broadband networking, video and government customers across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Indian Ocean region," according to Arianespace's description of the mission.
The second satellite, named EDRS-C, will be the second satellite of the "SpaceDataHighway," also called the European Data Relay System. This satellite is important to receiving real-time data and imaging from Earth-observing satellites. Just think of the ESA and EU's Copernicus satellite imaging and its value to seeing environmental conditions on the planet.
A live webcast of this launch will begin about 15 minutes prior to liftoff. You can watch it on Space.com, courtesy of Arianespace, or directly via the company's YouTube.
Falcon 9 and AMOS-17 are vertical on Pad 40 in Florida. Weather is 40% favorable for tonight’s lau...
Falcon 9 and AMOS-17 are vertical on Pad 40 in Florida. Weather is 40% favorable for tonight’s launch window, which opens at 6:53 p.m. EDT, or 22:53 UTC.
SpaceX
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch (6:52 p.m. ET)
At 6:53 PM ET, the launch window opens for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which is taking off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window will close at 8:21 PM ET - so it looks like SpaceX will have plenty of time.
The Falcon 9 rocket, which has been used twice before will launch the Amos-17 communications satellite. It was built by Boeing for Spacecom Ltd. of Israel and will provide broadband connectivity over Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
This will be the final journey into space for this particular Falcon 9 rocket. It is a rare “expendable” mission for SpaceX, meaning the space company's workhorse rocket will end up in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX’s coverage is set to begin about 15 minutes before liftoff, and you can watch the live webcast on Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company's YouTube.
More about rocket launches, Ariane 5 rocket, falcon 9 rocket, lecommunications satellitess, Spacex
 
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