OneWeb to Begin Launching Satellites Again as Early as December

EVRY, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace and OneWeb will resume launch operations to continue the deployment of the OneWeb constellation.

The next Soyuz launch is planned as soon as December 2020 from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.

Pursuant to an amended launch contract with OneWeb, the London-based communications company, Arianespace will perform 16 more Soyuz launches from three spaceports (Kourou, Baikonur and Vostochny) beginning in late 2020 and continuing through 2022. These launches will enable OneWeb to complete the deployment of its full global constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites by the end of 2022.

(more…)

Intelsat Finalizes Satellite and Launch Vehicle Contracts for U.S. C-band Spectrum Transition

McLean, Va. (Intelsat PR) – Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network, today announced it has finalized all of its required contracts with satellite manufacturers and launch-vehicle providers to move forward and meet the accelerated C-band spectrum clearing timelines established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year.

The company has entered into a formal agreement with U.S.-based Maxar Technologies to build the final satellite required to support its C-band transition and maintain the FCC’s post-transition, “same or better” quality-of-service standard. Earlier this summer, Intelsat announced manufacturing contracts with Maxar and U.S.-based Northrop Grumman for six satellites.

(more…)

Satellogic Launches 11th Satellite to Low-Earth Orbit

NewSat Mark IV (Credit: Satellogic)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Satellogic PR)–Satellogic, the first company to develop a scalable Earth observation platform with the ability to remap the entire planet at both high-frequency and high-resolution, announced the launch of a new spacecraft from the Guiana Space Center via a launch procured by Spaceflight, Inc.

The satellite, a NewSat Mark IV, was delivered to a sun-synchronous low-Earth orbit on a Vega rocket from Arianespace at 1:51am UTC on September 3, 2020.

The spacecraft is named “Hypatia” after the philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician who lived in Alexandria and was a symbol of learning and science. She was renowned in her own lifetime as a great teacher and a wise counselor and became seen as an icon for women’s rights and a precursor to the feminist movement.

(more…)

Kepler Announces Successful Launch of Third Satellite

TARS satellite (Credit: Kepler Communications)

TORONTO, ONTARIO, September 3, 2020 (Kepler Communications PR) – Kepler’s Low Earth Orbit constellation expanded earlier today with the successful launch of its third satellite. This satellite, internally referred to as TARS, was launched onboard the Arianespace Vega SSMS (Small Spacecraft Mission Service) from the Guiana Space Centre at approximately 01:51 UTC, with communication established shortly thereafter.

(more…)

Arianespace Gives a Lift to the Smallsat Market with Vega’s SSMS Debut

Vega begins its ascent from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying CubeSats and microsatellites on a flight to validate Europe’s innovative Small Spacecraft Mission Service. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace has realised the first European “rideshare” mission for small satellites, with 53 satellites onboard the Vega launcher for 21 customers.

With this new SSMS (Small Spacecraft Mission Service) shared launch concept, Arianespace demonstrates its ability to respond – in an innovative and competitive manner – to institutional and commercial requirements of the growing market for small satellites.

(more…)

Vega, Falcon 9 Rockets Set to Orbit More than 100 Satellites

Vega begins its ascent from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying Italy’s PRISMA Earth observation satellite on the third Arianespace mission of 2019. (Credit: Arianespace)

Arianespace’s Vega and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets are set to launch a combined 113 satellites this week.

Vega is scheduled for launch on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 9:51:10 p.m. EDT (01:51:10 a.m. UTC on Sept. 2) from Kourou, French Guiana. You can view the launch on Arianespace’s YouTube channel.

(more…)

A Whole Bunch of Launches Scheduled — Again

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket launches NASA’s Parker Solar Probe to touch the Sun, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, from Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Parker Solar Probe is humanity’s first-ever mission into a part of the Sun’s atmosphere called the corona. Here it will directly explore solar processes that are key to understanding and forecasting space weather events that can impact life on Earth. (Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Bored beyond tears due to the lockdown? Got nothing to do and nowhere to go? Only reruns on the tube?

Stay home, grab some beers, and fire up that computer. There’s a whole bunch of launches on the schedule over the next four days. ULA, Rocket Lab, SpaceX, Astra and Arianespace are all back in action with six launches from three countries.

SpaceX will attempt two launches on the same day from Florida on Sunday. The company might also attempt a hop of its sixth Starship prototype this weekend. The timing for that is uncertain.

Remember: launches are subject to change without notice. And wagering is strictly prohibited.

August 29

UPDATE: The booster performed an abort at T minus 3 seconds. United Launch Alliance says it will be at least seven days before they can attempt another launch.

Launch Vehicle: Delta IV Heavy
Payload: NROL-44
Launch Time: 2:04 a.m. EDT (0612 GMT)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Webcast: www.ulalaunch.com/

An United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket will launch the classified NROL-44 satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.

August 29/30

UPDATE: New Electron launch date is Aug. 30/31 with the same launch window.

Launch Vehicle: Electron
Mission Name: “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Optical”
Payload: Sequoia
Launch Window: 11:05 p.m.-3:05 a.m. EDT on Aug. 29/30 (0305-0705 GMT on Aug. 29)
Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Webcast: www.rocketlabusa.com

Rocket Lab is back in action after the failure of its 13th launch on July 4. Electron will carry the Capella Space’s Sequoia synthetic aperture radar satellite on a dedicated mission.

August 30

UPDATE: Launch scrubbed due to weather. Next possible launch window is on Tuesday.

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payload: Starlink 11
Launch Time: 10:08 a.m. EDT (1408 GMT)
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Webcast: www.spacex.com

The 12th batch of approximately 60 satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband constellation.

August 30

UPDATE: Launch successful.

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payload: SAOCOM 1B
Launch Time: 7:19 p.m. EDT (2319 GMT)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Webcast: www.spacex.com

SpaceX will launch the SAOCOM 1B environmental satellite for Argentina’s space agency, CONAE. The mission includes the first polar orbit launch from Cape Canaveral since February 1969. The Falcon 9 first stage will attempt a relatively rare return to land instead of touching down on an offshore drone ship.

August 30/31

UPDATE: Astra has postponed the launch to Sept. 10 from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. EDT (7-9:30 p.m. PDT)

Launch Vehicle: Rocket 3.1
Payloads: None
Launch Window: 10:00 p.m.-12:30 a.m. EDT on Aug. 30/31 (0200-0430 GMT on Aug. 31
Launch Site: Pacific Spaceport Complex — Alaska
Webcast: none

Astra Space will attempt the first orbital flight of its inexpensive launch vehicle.

September 1/2

Launch Vehicle: Vega
Mission Name: Small Spacecraft Mission Service Proof of Concept (SSMS POF)
Payloads: 53 small satellites
Launch Time: 9:51:10 p.m. EDT on Sept. 1 (0151:10 GMT on Sept. 2)
Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana
Webcast: Arianespace YouTube channel

Arianespace will attempt the first rideshare mission of its Vega booster. The window for the long delayed launch extends until Sept. 4.

Delayed Vega Launch Now Set for September 1

Vega begins its ascent from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying Italy’s PRISMA Earth observation satellite on the third Arianespace mission of 2019. (Credit: Arianespace)

PARIS (ESA PR) — A new launch date of 1 September 2020 has been announced by Arianespace for Vega flight VV16.

Due to the persistence of exceptionally unfavourable winds at altitude over Europe’s Spaceport, Vega flight VV16, originally scheduled for 18 June 2020, was postponed, despite full availability of the launcher and the 53 satellites on this Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) mission.

(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…)

Ariane 5 Launch Scrubbed Due to Sensor Problem

Arianespace Launch Update

The final countdown for Flight Ariane #253 (VA253) was halted at 2’14’’ before liftoff during a first launch attempt on July 31 due to the unexpected behavior of a sensor inside the liquid hydrogen tank in the launcher’s main cryogenic stage.

Ariane 5 is being transferred back to the Final Assembly Building (BAF), where a spare sensor will be set up and a new flight program uploaded to the launcher. These additional operations, and those that follow, will take several days. In the meantime, the Ariane 5 launch vehicle and its three spacecraft payloads are in stable and safe conditions.

With the schedule being firmed up, a new target launch date will be announced by Monday, August 3.

Arianespace is applying its standard procedures to maintain the highest level of reliability for the benefit of its customers.

Arianespace to Launch Three Satellites Towards Geostationary Orbit on July 28

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

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Final step in Ariane 5 latest performance improvement program decided in 2016, Flight VA253 brings the total increase in payload capacity to 300 kg since then.

The two of the three companies whose satellites are being launched are both long-standing customers – Intelsat for 37 years and B-SAT for 23 years – clearly proving the excellence of Arianespace’s service offering and long-term customer relations.

(more…)

53 Smallsats Integrated for Vega’s First Rideshare Mission

Shown during the SSMS payload integration process for Arianespace’s Flight VV16 is the ION CubeSat carrier – a platform that will deploy 12 CubeSats after being placed in orbit by the Vega launcher. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — The 53 satellite passengers for Arianespace’s rideshare flight with its Vega light-lift launcher have been integrated at the Spaceport in French Guiana, marking a key milestone in preparation for the June 18 Proof of Concept mission with Europe’s Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS).

(more…)

Preparations Resume for Vega’s Upcoming Mission with 53 Small Satellites

Arianespace personnel are utilizing smart glasses during certain payload checkout activities for Flight VV16 at the Spaceport in French Guiana, enabling customers to remotely monitor operations performed on satellites that will be orbited this month by the Vega light-lift launcher. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — The launch campaign has resumed for Arianespace’s next mission, which will be the proof-of-concept flight with the Vega launcher’s “ride-share” configuration – known as the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS).

(more…)