Watch the Ariane 5 rocket launch satellite from South America today

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A powerful European rocket will launch a large communications satellite into orbit from South America on Wednesday, September 7, and you can watch it live.

A Ariane 5 rocket carrying the Eutelsat Konnect VHTS satellite is scheduled to lift off from European Spaceport in French Guiana on Wednesday during a 66-minute window that opens at 5:45 p.m. EDT (2145 GMT). Watch it live here on Space.com, courtesy of Arianespace, or directly through the French company (opens in a new tab), which operates Ariane 5.

Wednesday’s launch will be the second of 2022 for the 166-foot-tall (50.5-meter) Ariane 5 and the third of the year for Arianespace. It will send Konnect VHTS (short for “very high throughput satellite”) into geostationary transfer orbit for French satellite operator Eutelsat, if all goes according to plan.

Related: The history of rockets

Eutelsat Konnect VHTS is the largest satellite ever built by French-Italian aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space, Arianespace representatives written in a job description (opens in a new tab). The spacecraft tips the scales at 7 tons (6.4 metric tons) and is about 29 feet (8.8 m) tall, and it packs a lot of performance into that big frame.

“With instant throughput of 500 Gbps [gigabits per second]Eutelsat Konnect VHTS will provide high-speed Internet access throughout Europe, particularly in remote areas with poor coverage, offering a service comparable to fiber optic networks in terms of performance and cost, thus contributing significantly to the reduction of the digital divide.” Arianespace wrote in the mission description.

“Eutelsat Konnect VHTS will also meet the broadband connectivity needs of fixed and mobile telecommunications networks, land, sea or air,” they added.

Wednesday night’s launch is one of the few remaining for the venerable Ariane 5, which debuted in the mid-1990s and has more than 100 missions under its belt. Arianespace is developing the rocket’s successor, the Ariadne 6which should fly for the first time next year.

Mike Wall is the author of “The low (opens in a new tab)(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in a new tab). Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in a new tab) Or on Facebook (opens in a new tab).

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