Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ariane 5 Rocket Roars Toward Space Station

An Ariane rocket is climbing away from Earth after a thundering launch from a South American spaceport, hauling a European cargo carrier on a supply run to the International Space Station.

Liftoff from Launch Complex 3 at Guiana Space Center came at 4:50 p.m. EST. The initial stages of the mission are expected to take about 90 minutes to complete. The rocket is carrying an Automated Transfer Vehicle that is filled with thousands of pounds of supplies and equipment.

Station Commander Scott Kelly reported that he and his crewmates were able to see the light from liftoff as the outpost crossed over the border between Bolivia and Peru.

The launch was the 56th for Ariane 5 and the 200 for the Ariane family of rockets since an inaugural flight on Christmas Eve 1979.

More to come.

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