Arianespace, Orbital Science and SpaceX Snag Launch Contracts

Inaugural Vega flight. (Credits: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2012)
Inaugural Vega flight. (Credits: ESA – S. Corvaja, 2012)

Launch providers in the United States and Europe announced agreements to launch a series of satellites over the coming two years:

  • Arianespace will launch CGS S.p.A’s OPTSAT 3000 and the Israeli Space Agency’s VENµS satellite aboard a Vega launcher in early 2016 from the Guiana Space Center in South America. Read more
  • Skybox Imaging has tapped Orbital Sciences Corp. to launch six Earth observation satellites aboard a Minotaur-C from Vandenberg Air Force Base in late 2015. Read more
  • SpaceX has booked another satellite on its Falcon 9 rocket. Satellite fleet operator SES has agreed to launch its SES-10 satellite aboard the booster in 2016. Read more

CORRECTION:  SES has booked a ride on the Falcon 9 rocket. Space News has corrected its story, which earlier said the satellite would fly on the Falcon Heavy. This post has been changed to reflect the correction.

  • larryj8

    The link to the SpaceX article changed to:

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/satellite-telecom/39558updated-ses-books-falcon-9-for-2016-launch

    The article says they’re going to use a Falcon 9 instead of a Falcon Heavy. Apparently there was some confusion on the launch vehicle selection.

  • therealdmt

    Still, that’s a terrific illustration of a Falcon Heavy that accompanies the article! 😉

  • mlaboy

    Can’t wait until they can choose from a slew of actual photos after the heavy actually flies!

  • mlaboy

    It’s reported the SES-9 sat to launch on SpaceX Falcon 9 will weigh ~5,330kg at launch
    into a sub-synchronous orbit.’ Nearing the rocket’s capacity ceiling. So it’s safe to say there will be no first stage recovery attempt on that flight….

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    It also strongly implies that the 4,850kg IS the reusable capability.

  • windbourne

    Why?
    I would think that the reserve is more of a safety issue, and less than re-use. Kind of like kids equipment that is rate for say 100 lbs, but can actually hold 200 lbs. You want a safety factor in case something goes wrong.