6 February 2014: Watch a satellite launch live TODAY

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Ariane 5This is quite quirky and fun: Watch a double satellite launch from the Arianespace Guiana Space Centre live this afternoon, going up on an Ariane 5. Who knew Arianespace had a tv channel? I knew NASA did but that’s a new one to me. Details (from the website here, where the count-down clock is ticking…):

Arianespace will launch ABS-2 and Athena-Fidus on an Ariane 5.

Join us LIVE on Arianespace.tv or download the app for iPhone/iPad or Android to view the launch tomorrow at 3:15pm ET.

ABS-2 was built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL) for global satellite operator ABS. It is one of the most powerful commercial spacecraft for the Eastern Hemisphere, designed to provide multiple services that include direct-to-home and cable television distribution, VSAT, data networks and telecommunications, as well as the supply of substantial new capacity from the operator’s prime orbital location at 75 deg. East.  The co-passenger, Athena-Fidus, will provide data transmission services for the French and Italian defense ministries, after the spacecraft’s deployment by the Ariane 5. Thales Alenia Space is the Athena-Fidus program prime contractor. This Ariane 5 flight will be Arianespace’s 72nd with the heavy lift launch vehicle. The Ariane 5 is part of the company’s complete launcher family, which also includes the medium weight Soyuz and the light lift Vega.

For more information, visit www.arianespace.com.

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Dr Jill Stuart is an academic based at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is an expert in the politics, ethics and law of outer space exploration and exploitation. She is a frequent presence in the global media (print, radio, television, documentary) and regularly gives lectures around the world. From 2013-2017 she was Editor in Chief of the Elsevier journal Space Policy where she remains on the Editorial Board. She is also on the Board of Advisors of METI International, conducting scientific research into messaging potential extraterrestrial intelligence. She is one of an elite number of people to be endorsed by the UK Home Office as an Exceptional Talent Migrant/ World Leader in her Field. In 2015 she was awarded the prestigious Margaret Mead Award Lecture by the British Science Association in recognition of her cutting edge research. She is trained in both domestic and international mediation and has done consultancy work for the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. She has a sub-specialism in women, peace and security and gender based violence. She is a Trustee of Luton All Women’s Centre.