Northrop Grumman’s Second Mission Extension Vehicle and Galaxy 30 Satellite Begin Launch Preparations in French Guiana

The second Mission Extension Vehicle and the company-built Galaxy 30 spacecraft have been delivered to the launch site and are scheduled for liftoff in late July. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

The spacecraft will launch together on an Arianespace 5 rocket; MEV-2 set to dock with Intelsat satellite in early 2021

DULLES, Va., June 30, 2020 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) announced today the arrival of the company-built Galaxy 30 (G-30) spacecraft for Intelsat and the Mission Extension Vehicle 2 (MEV-2) at the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. The vehicles are scheduled to launch late July 2020, in a stacked configuration onboard an Ariane 5 rocket.

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Tower Extension Test a Success for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

Technicians inspect a critical part of the James Webb Space Telescope known as the Deployable Tower Assembly after fully extending it in the same maneuver it will perform in once in space. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — To test the James Webb Space Telescope’s readiness for its journey in space, technicians successfully commanded it to deploy and extend a critical part of the observatory known as the Deployable Tower Assembly. 

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Arianespace to Resume Launches from French Guiana

Ariane 5 launches on Feb. 18, 2020. (Credit: Arianespace)

EVRY_COURCOURONNES, France (Arianespace PR) — Following the measures presented by the French government on April 28 as part of the gradual resumption of activity planned from May 11, and the announcement of a restart of operational activities at the Guiana Space Center, Arianespace confirms its following launch objectives:

  • Flight VV16/SSMS – The first “rideshare” Vega launch, carrying approximately 50 small satellites, in mid-June;
  • Flight VA253 – A dual-payload Ariane 5 mission for two customers, Intelsat and B-SAT, at the end of July.
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ESA, European Commission Pre-order Four More Ariane 6 Launches

Artist’s view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters (A64) (Credit: ESA – D. Ducros)

PARIS (Arianespace PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA) has finalized its preorder for four more launches on Ariane 6, along with an initial payment.

Using Ariane 62, the light version of the new European launcher, these missions will be carried out on behalf of the European Commission to continue the deployment and operational ramp-up of the high-performance Galileo satellite navigation system.

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Ariane 5 Launches 2 Satellites

Ariane 5 launches on Feb. 18, 2020. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Satellites for two operators based in the Asia-Pacific region – Japan’s SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) – were successfully deployed to geostationary transfer orbit on Arianespace’s latest Ariane 5 mission.

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First Spacebus Neo Satellite Launched

Spacebus Neo Konnect in the thermal vacuum test chamber. (Credit: Thales Alenia Space)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — Ariane 5’s first launch of 2020 has delivered two telecom satellites, Konnect and GSAT-30, into their planned transfer orbits. Arianespace announced liftoff at 21:05 GMT (22:05 CET, 18:05 local time) this evening from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Konnect, with a launch mass of 3619 kg, was the first to be released after about 27 minutes.

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Ariane 5 Orbits Two Satellites to “Bridge the Digital Divide”

The Ariane 5 for Flight VA251 departs the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone with its EUTELSAT KONNECT and GSAT-30 satellite passengers. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace opened its 2020 launch activity with a dual-satellite Ariane 5 mission from French Guiana that successfully placed EUTELSAT KONNECT and GSAT-30 into geostationary transfer orbit.

Conducted from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch site, today’s mission delivered an estimated payload lift performance of 7,888 kg.

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First Spacebus Neo Satellite Set for Launch

The Konnect satellite is placed within the fairing for launch aboard Ariane 5. (Credit: ESA)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — The first satellite developed under an initiative to help European industry deliver competitive satellites for the commercial telecommunications market has entered its final phase before launch.

Konnect will provide broadband services for Europe and Africa, and was built by Thales Alenia Space for Eutelsat, its commercial operator, under an ESA Partnership Project.

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Arianespace Looks Back on Solid 2019

Ariane 5 booster lifts off. (Credit: Arianespace)

COURCOURONNES, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace recorded a solid operational and business performance in 2019 by orbiting 24 satellites with nine launches, while signing 14 launch services contracts during the year for a total of 44 satellites ranging in mass from six kilograms to nearly six metric tons – marking the flexibility of the company’s commercial offer.

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Arianespace Looks Break Launch Records, Debut New Boosters in 2020

Artist’s view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters (A64) (Credit: ESA – D. Ducros)

COURCOURONNES, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace is heading into 2020 fully prepared to capitalize on the latest commercial opportunities for Ariane 5 and to succeed with Vega’s return-to-flight, planned for March. Arianespace also is aiming to set three new records:

  • For the number of launches during the year, with up to 12 opportunities identified from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, along with the first flights of Vega C and Ariane 6; and eight more from the cosmodromes at Baikonur and Vostochny. (from these two cosmodromes, this launch cadence could be augmented based on satellite availability),
  • For the number of satellites placed into orbit – more than 300 – taking into account the continued deployment of OneWeb satellites and the SSMS rideshare mission with Vega, and
  • For the number of launch pads at its service: four at the Guiana Space Center (for Ariane 5, Ariane 6, Soyuz and Vega/Vega C), along with one each at the Baikonur and Vostochny cosmodromes for Soyuz.
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Ariane’s 250th Mission Launches 2 Communications Satellites

Ariane 5 booster lifts off. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace has successfully orbited two geostationary satellites: TIBA-1, for Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defence and Space on behalf of the Government of Egypt; and GX5 for the operator Inmarsat.

The launch took place on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at 18:23 p.m. (local time) from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana (South America).

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China Launch Surge Left U.S., Russia Behind in 2018

Long March 2F rocket in flight carrying Shenzhou-11. (Credit: CCTV)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The year 2018 was the busiest one for launches in decades. There were a total of 111 completely successful launches out of 114 attempts. It was the highest total since 1990, when 124 launches were conducted.

China set a new record for launches in 2018. The nation launched 39 times with 38 successes in a year that saw a private Chinese company fail in the country’s first ever orbital launch attempt.

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Arianespace Backlog Stands at 52 Launches as Company Prepares for Ariane 6, Vega C

Ariane 5 lifts off with the Intelsat 5 and EDRS-C communications satellites aboard. (Credit: Arianespace)

PARIS (Arianespace PR) — With Arianespace once again participating in the World Satellite Business Week (WSBW) event in Paris from September 9 to 13, the company continues to confirm the attractiveness of its launcher family, with nine new contracts signed since the beginning of the year – including Ariane 6’s maiden flight and the concluding payload contract for the SSMS demonstration flight on Vega (which is now fully booked). Arianespace’s backlog currently stands at 52 launches to be carried out by the Ariane 5/Ariane 6, Vega/Vega C and Soyuz vehicles.

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EDRS-C Satellite Launched to Expand Space Data Highway

EDRS-C is prepared for launch. (Credit: ESA-CNES-Arianespace Optique Vidéo du CSG – S Martin)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — The second satellite to join the constellation that forms the European Data Relay System (EDRS) has been successfully launched.

The satellite was launched on board an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on 6 August at 21:30 CEST (19:30 UTC).

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