Title of the Initiative: A Space Strategy for Europe Lead DG – Responsible Unit – AP Number: DG GROW – DIRECTORATES I & J – 2016/GROW/007 Date of Roadmap: 12/2015 Likely Type of Initiative: Communication from the Commission Indicative Planning: tbd Additional Information: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/space/index_en.htm
This indicative roadmap is provided for information purposes only and can be subject to change. It does not prejudge the final decision of the Commission on whether this initiative will be pursued or on its final content and structure. (more…)
PARIS (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace is targeting another busy year of activity in 2016 – continuing its launch services excellence by performing up to 11 missions utilizing Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega, while reinforcing its international marketplace competitiveness with commercial offers that combine the company’s attributes of reliability, availability and price.
Russia continued its dominance of the global satellite launch industry in 2015, conducting 29 of 86 orbital launches over the past 12 months. It also maintained its lead in botched launches, suffering two failures and one partial failure.
Video Caption: 2015 began and ended with two pioneering missions: IXV, the Intermediate Experimental Vehicle, proving Europe’s ability to return autonomously from space, and LISA Pathfinder, which set out in December to test the technologies needed to detect gravitational waves and, with them, a new way to look at our Universe! But a lot has happened in between… More European astronauts have visited space and more satellites are beefing up Galileo and ESA’s Earth Observation programme!
PARIS (Arianespace PR) — With 12 successful launches over 12 months, Arianespace’s mission performance in 2015 was one for the record book – concluding with today’s Soyuz flight that further expanded the European Galileo global navigation satellite system.
That’s the Russian space program’s sad record since May 2009. The failure of a Proton rocket earlier today with the loss of a Mexican communications satellite was yet another sign of the prolonged crisis affecting Russia’s once powerful space program.
The crash came less than three weeks after a botched launch left a Progress supply freighter spinning end over end like an extra point before it burned up in Earth atmosphere. There was also news today that another Progress cargo ship attached to the International Space Station failed to fire its engine as planned to boost the station’s orbit.
The list of Russian launch accidents over the last six years includes:
13 complete failures resulting in the loss of all payloads;
3 partial failures that left spacecraft in the wrong orbits;
Arianespace and ESA have issued an update on the launch anomaly that stranded two Galileo navigation satellites in the wrong orbits. The statement confirms that investigators are focused on an apparent problem with the Fregat upper stage of the Russian Soyuz ST launch vehicle.
The update provides no information about the fate of the satellites other than to say they are healthy and communicating with the ground. The European Commission has not issued an update since Friday, when it celebrated what it thought was a fully successful launch.
NASA PR — Data from a NASA planetary mission have provided scientists evidence of what appears to be a body of liquid water, equal in volume to the North American Great Lakes, beneath the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon, Europa.
The data suggest there is significant exchange between Europa’s icy shell and the ocean beneath. This information could bolster arguments that Europa’s global subsurface ocean represents a potential habitat for life elsewhere in our solar system. The findings are published in the scientific journal Nature.
The European Commission announced today the award of three of the six contracts for the procurement of Galileoâ€™s initial operational capability. The contract for the system support services is awarded to ThalesAleniaSpace of Italy , that for a first order of 14 satellites to OHB System AG of Germany and that for the launch services to Arianespace of France. This will allow the initial deployment and service provision of Europeâ€™s satellite navigation system as of early 2014.
Well, I was having a great birthday today. But, I just made the mistake of looking at the news which, aside from Obama’s inauguration, I had been avoiding due to its deeply depressing content. And man, did this news item bring me down.
It seems that some eggheads have decided to dig up the body of Galileo. Why would they do that, you ask? Great question. I wish there was a good answer.
An Indian PSLV rocket launched 10 – count ’em 10 – satellites into orbit on Monday. The cargo included the Cartosat-2A remote sensing satellite, an Indian mini-sat, and eight foreign nano-sats. The Times of India has details.
Meanwhile, the folks at Sea Launch are celebrating their first successful takeoff from terra firma. A Land Launch Zenit-3SLB blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday carrying an Israeli communications satellite. The company is a joint venture between Sea Launch and Russia’s Space International Services. More details here.
In other news, the ever reliable Soyuz rocket orbited the second demonstration satellite for Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system on Sunday. And a Chinese Long March rocket launched a data relay satellite on Friday that will support China’s human spaceflight program.