It was a case of fourth time lucky, for the latest mission of Europe’s Ariane-5 rocket. It blasted off from French Guiana with a payload of two communications satellites. Three earlier launches had to be cancelled because of technical problems.
The heavy-lift craft, which can carry up to 10 metric tonnes, put into orbit a Spanish military satellite and another for a Paris-based telecoms operator. The mission was a far cry from the first Ariane 5 launch in 2002 which ended in failure after it veered off course over the Atlantic.