Arianespace is set to open its 2020 launch campaign on Thursday with the launch of two telecommunications satellites – Eutelsat KONNECT and GSAT-30 – on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle. Liftoff from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA-3) at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana is currently scheduled to occur at the beginning of a 115-minute launch window that opens at 21:05 UTC.
Ariane Flight VA251 will open 2020 following a year in which Arianespace successfully launched eight out of nine missions. Four of them were launched on heavy-lift Ariane 5 rockets, which is one of three launch vehicles that Arianespace currently operates at the European Spaceport alongside the light-lift Vega and the medium-lift Soyuz (provided to them by the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos).
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The only failure occurred on July 10, 2019, as Arianespace was launching the Falcon Eye 1 satellite for the United Arab Emirates as part of Vega Flight VV15. A failure in the forward dome of the Zefiro-23 second stage at just over two minutes into the flight resulted in the loss of the vehicle and spacecraft.
A total of 47 metric tons of payload ...