KOUROU, French Guiana – A rocket carrying two commercial satellites experienced a malfunction during lift-off from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana, its operator said in a statement.
Despite the anomaly affecting the normally reliable Ariane 5 rocket, the SES-14 and Al Yah 3 satellites are in orbit and communicating with their control centers, Courcouronnes, France-based Arianespace said in a statement Thursday night.
“A few seconds after ignition of the upper stage, the second tracking station located in Natal, Brazil, did not acquire the launcher telemetry. This lack of telemetry lasted throughout the rest of powered flight,” the rocket operator said.
“Subsequently, both satellites were confirmed separated, acquired and they are on orbit ... and communicating with their respective control centers,” it added.
Thursday evening’s lift-off occurred at the Guiana Space Centre, which the French government and the European Space Agency use to launch satellites into space.
The SES-14 belongs to Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES, while the Al Yah 3 is owned by Abu Dhabi-based Al Yah Satellite Communications.