An Ariane 5 rocket will launch two new satellites for Japan and South Korea today (Feb. 18), and you can watch it live online.
The Ariane 5 rocket, built by the European launch provider Arianespace, will lift off from the Guiana Space Center near Kourou, French Guiana, during a 58-minute launch window that opens at 5:18 p.m. EST (2218 GMT).
Riding to orbit on top of the Ariane 5 rocket is the JCSAT-17 communications satellite, which will provide “flexible, high-bandwidth communications to users in Japan and the surrounding region,” Arianespace officials said in a statement. That satellite is owned by the Tokyo-based operator Sky Perfect JSAT.
The other payload is the Earth-imaging satellite GEO-Kompsat-2B, which will monitor our planet’s oceans and other environmental factors to provide data for weather forecasters and other scientists. Operated by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, the satellite will work in tandem with GEO-Kompsat-2A, which launched in 2018.