Last year was a tough one for Europe in terms of launches. The COVID-19 pandemic closed the Guiana Space Centre for extended periods. And the most troubled of the three rockets launched from the spaceport had another bad day.
Despite the problems, there were seven launches from French Guiana in 2020, with six successes and one failure. Five of the flights involved European rockets, and two others were Russian Soyuz boosters.
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.
MADRID, 20 May 2019 (ESA PR) — ESA and Arianespace have signed a contract that secure the SEOSAT–Ingenio Earth observation satellite’s ride into orbit next year on a Vega rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
SEOSAT, short for Spanish Earth observation satellite, will provide high-resolution multispectral images of Earth for applications such as cartography, monitoring land use, urban management, water management, risk management and security.