Going Up and Coming Down: Ariane V’s heaviest load, and Soyuz TMA-19M Returns

Two big spaceflight events today.  😉  Ariane V blasted off from Kourou in French Guiana, carrying EchoStar 18 andBRISat.  Combined, they represented the heaviest payload ever launched by the mighty Ariane V.  EchoStar 15 will serve DISH television customers in the United States, while BRISat will provide secure satellite communication links for financial transactions in Indonesia, a nation distributed across many islands and therefore heavily dependent on radio communications.

And on the other side of the planet, Soyuz TMA-19M descended to the plains of Kazakhstan.  The descent was nominal.  The three crew are in good health: Yuri Malenchenko (Ukrainian, flying for Russia), Tim Kopra (United States) and Tim Peake (United Kingdom, flying for ESA).  It’s kind of a noisy replay; I assume that’s noise from the recovery helicopter that is carrying the camera.  You can jump to 5:20 if you want to see the soft landing thrusters fire.


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