Reprogrammable Satellite Launched

Ariane 5 VA254 lifts off on July 30, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — A sophisticated telecommunications satellite that can be completely repurposed while in space has launched.

Developed under an ESA Partnership Project with satellite operator Eutelsat and prime manufacturer Airbus, Eutelsat Quantum has pioneered a new generation of satellites with the European space industry.

(more…)

Double Success for Ariane 5: Star One D2 and EUTELSAT QUANTUM Satellites Placed in Geostationary Transfer Orbit

Ariane 5 VA254 lifts off on July 30, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — On Friday, July 30, between 09:00 and 10:30 p.m. UTC, the Ariane 5 VA254 flight successfully placed two satellites in orbit from the Guiana Space Center (CSG): Star One D2, built by Maxar Technologies for Brazilian operator Embratel, and EUTELSAT QUANTUM for Eutelsat, developed with Airbus Defence and Space and the European Space Agency (ESA).

(more…)

Reprogrammable Satellite Fueled Prior to Launch

Developed under an ESA Partnership Project called Quantum, the satellite is pioneering a new generation of fully reconfigurable satellites that can respond while in orbit to changing demands on Earth during their 15-year lifetimes. Here it is being fueled for launch. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — A sophisticated telecommunications satellite capable of being completely repurposed in orbit has been fuelled ready for its launch on 30 July.

Developed under an ESA Partnership Project called Quantum, the satellite is pioneering a new generation of fully reconfigurable satellites that can respond while in orbit to changing demands on Earth during their 15-year lifetimes.

(more…)

Arianespace to Launch Two Telecom Satellites into Geostationary Orbit on July 30

Ariane 5 launches on Feb. 18, 2020. (Credit: Arianespace)
  • The sixth Arianespace launch of 2021 with the first Ariane 5 of the year, scheduled for July 30, will orbit two geostationary telecommunications satellites, Star One D2 and EUTELSAT QUANTUM.
     
  • This VA254 mission for two long-standing customers clearly reflects the excellence of Arianespace’s services and relations of mutual trust with its customers.

EVRY, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 launch from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in Kourou, French Guiana, is scheduled for Friday, July 30, during a launch window from 21:00 to 22:30 UTC. Initially planned for July 27, the mission was rescheduled after a revision to the preparation schedule.

(more…)

Launch 2020: A Busy Year Filled with Firsts in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls & Joel Kowsky)

SpaceX dominated, China surged and Russia had another clean sheet as American astronauts flew from U.S. soil again in a year of firsts.

First in a series

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a very busy launch year with a number of firsts in both human and robotic exploration. A total of 114 orbital launches were attempted, with 104 successes and 10 failures. It was the same number of launches that were conducted in 2018, with that year seeing 111 successes, two failures and one partial failure.

(more…)

NASA Statement on James Webb Space Telescope Launch Readiness

The James Webb Space Telescope previously deployed its primary mirror in March 2020. Its folded sunshield is also visible in this image. (Credits: Northrop Grumman)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which will be the premier observatory of the next decade, remains on schedule for a launch readiness date no earlier than Oct. 31, 2021.

Webb will ship to the launch site in August with little to no schedule margin; launch processing will take two months. The observatory has completed all the post-environmental testing deployments, and it is in its final integration and folding stages. Final stow, closeout, and pack and ship are imminent. We are working closely with the European Space Agency (ESA) and Arianespace on establishing the launch date. We will launch approximately four months after the first launch of the Ariane 5 this year, which is scheduled for late July. Webb has no launch date constraints; hence, it can launch almost any day of the year.

Webb will study every phase in the history of our universe, including the first luminous glows after the creation of the cosmos, the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, and the evolution of our own solar system.

Launch of James Webb Space Telescope “High Likely” to be Delayed Past October

The James Webb Space Telescope previously deployed its primary mirror in March 2020. Its folded sunshield is also visible in this image. (Credits: Northrop Grumman)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is “highly likely” to be delayed beyond its planned Oct. 31 launch due to anomalies with the European Ariane 5 booster that will send the giant observatory into deep space, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). [Full Report]

(more…)

EUMETSAT, Arianespace Confirm Launch of Two Meteosat Third Generation Satellites with Ariane 6

Artist’s view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters (A64) (Credit: ESA – D. Ducros)
  • Arianespace and EUMETSAT signed an update of their Launch Services Agreement for two Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellites.
  • The sounder satellite MTG-S1 and the imager satellite MTG-I2 will be launched with Ariane 6, the next generation of Ariane family of launchers.
  • Arianespace will also place into orbit the MTG-I1 satellite with an Ariane 5 launcher by the end of 2022. The launch orderbook includes two more state-of-the-art meteorological polar satellites as well as one additional launch, still in option.

EVRY-COURCOURONNES, France, March 23, 2021 (Arianespace PR) — Today, at the occasion of the World Meteorological Day, EUMETSAT and Arianespace signed an update of their Launch Services Agreement for two Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellites. Through this updated agreement, Arianespace is confirmed by EUMETSAT to launch the sounder satellite MTG-S1 and the imager satellite MTG-I2 with Ariane 6, the next generation of Ariane family of launchers.

(more…)

ArianeGroup, CNES Sign Agreement on Prometheus Testing

Prometheus rocket engine (Credit: ArianeGroup Holding)

PARIS, January 14, 2021 (ArianeGroup PR) — Following the visit to the ArianeGroup site in Vernon by President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, and Minister for Overseas France Sébastien Lecornu, ArianeGroup CEO André-Hubert Roussel and CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall signed an agreement preparatory to the testing of the new Prometheus rocket engine at the Vernon site in Normandy.

(more…)

ESA, CNES Sign Contract to Maintain and Modernize Spaceport

Vega and Ariane 5 launch pads at Europe’s Spaceport. (Credit: ESA–Stephane Corvaja)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA will contribute to the maintenance, operations and modernisation of Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana over the period 2020–24.

At the ESA Council meeting on 16 December, a contract for the ‘Maintenance of the Guiana Space Centre launch range in operational condition for the period 2020–24, including core launch range renewal activities’ was signed by Jan Wörner, ESA Director General and Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES, France’s space agency.

(more…)

Arianespace to Launch EUTELSAT 10B Satellite

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s Flight VA253 was equipped with a new vehicle equipment bay that enabled the launcher’s payload capacity to be increased. (Credit: Arianespace)

EVRY, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace and Eutelsat have confirmed that EUTELSAT 10B, Eutelsat’s next generation high-throughput telecommunications satellite, will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket.

EUTELSAT 10B is scheduled for launch in 2022 on one of eight Ariane 5 missions remaining to be performed with the heavy-lift launcher.

(more…)

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Completes Environmental Testing

Following the complete assembly of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, testing teams performed a comprehensive systems evaluation which allowed them to confidently assess Webb’s software and electronic performance as a single fully connected vehicle. (Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn)

by Thaddeus Cesari 
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — With the completion of its latest series of milestone tests, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has now survived all of the harsh conditions associated with a rocket launch to space. 

Webb’s recent tests have validated that the fully assembled  observatory will endure the deafening noise, and the jarring shakes, rattles and vibrations that the observatory will experience during liftoff. Known as “acoustic” and “sine-vibration” testing, NASA has worked carefully with its international partners to match Webb’s testing environment precisely to what Webb will experience both on launch day, and when operating in orbit.

(more…)

Maxar’s 1300-Class Broadcasting Satellite Built for B-SAT Performing According to Plan After Launch

BSAT-4b, built by Maxar Technologies for Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT), is seen here in Maxar’s manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, Calif. (Credit: Maxar Technologies)

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (Maxar PR) — Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR) (TSX:MAXR), a trusted partner and innovator in Earth Intelligence and Space Infrastructure, today announced that the BSAT-4b satellite, built for Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT), successfully launched on Saturday and is performing according to plan.

(more…)

Intelsat Announces Successful Launch of Galaxy 30 Satellite and Northrop Grumman’s Second Mission Extension Vehicle

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s Flight VA253 was equipped with a new vehicle equipment bay that enabled the launcher’s payload capacity to be increased. (Credit: Arianespace)

McLean, Va., August 15, 2020 (Intelsat PR) – Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network, announced the successful launch of Galaxy 30, a geosynchronous communications satellite that will primarily provide high-performance television distribution service to Intelsat’s North American customers.

Northrop Grumman’s Mission Extension Vehicle 2 (MEV-2) was part of the same successful launch on Saturday. The Intelsat 10-02 satellite is scheduled to be its first customer in early 2021.

(more…)

Ariane 5 Launch Set for Friday

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

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace Flight VA253 – which will utilize an increased-lift Ariane 5 version – is a “go” for launch on August 14 following an additional Launch Readiness Review (LRR) performed today in French Guiana.

This approval clears the way for Ariane 5’s return to the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone tomorrow, followed by the final countdown leading to an evening liftoff on Friday.

(more…)