Watch Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket launch on its 100th mission to space

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This afternoon, Europe will launch its 100th Ariane 5 rocket, a historic achievement for the nearly 20-year-old vehicle design. Launching from Europe’s South American spaceport in French Guiana, the Ariane 5 will put a pair of communications satellites into a high orbit above Earth. And if all goes well, it will mark the 300th overall flight for the three-vehicle family of Arianespace, the launch provider overseen by the European Space Agency.

First introduced in 1996, the Ariane 5 has been the premier heavy-lift vehicle of Arianespace, launching numerous large communications satellites, as well as space observatories and cargo vehicles to the International Space Station. The rocket is also responsible for launching Europe’s Rosetta…

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