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The massive Ariane 5-ECA finally lifted off on Saturday.
The massive Ariane 5-ECA finally lifted off on Saturday, carrying two satellites into orbit, and demonstrating that the launcher is ready for business. The rocket blasted off from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana at 2103 GMT (4:03 pm EST), and deployed its payloads about 90 minutes later. The primary payload was the Spanish XTAR-EUR military communications satellite, but it was also carrying Sloshsat, a satellite designed to measure how liquids behave in microgravity. The Ariane 5-ECA can carry up to 10 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit.
Amateur photographer John Chumack took this picture of Spiral Galaxy NGC-253, which is located in the constellation of Sculptor. The telescope was a Takahashi Epsilon 250mm and ST8XE CCD camera, on a Software Bisque Paramount ME, taken on Mount Joy, New Mexico, New Mexico Skies Resort. John operated the telescope remotely from Dayton, Ohio using Arnie Rosner's Rent-A-Scope setup.
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