Video: Ariane 5 blasts off on first heavy-lift mission of 2017

Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket leapt of its launch pad on the edge of the Amazon jungle at sunset on Tuesday, flying into the dark of night to lift a pair of commercial communications satellites into orbit for operators in Latin America and Indonesia. The 55-meter tall rocket thundered off from the French Guiana coast line at 21:39 UTC, just three minutes before the local sunset, embarking on a forty-minute mission to deliver over ten metric tons into a highly elliptical orbit.

>>Read our Launch Recap