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After battling high wind delays Falcon 9 manages to launch telecomms satellite EchoStar 23

A SpaceX Falcon 9v1.2FT expendable rocket lifted off from Launch Complex 39A, Kennedy Space Center, at 0600 GMT on 16 March. The launch marks the third launch of the year for SpaceX who are still trying to get back on

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SpaceX wins second GPS IIIA launch contract

On 14 March, SpaceX announced they had won a US$96.5 million contract, to use its Falcon 9 rocket for the launch of the third US Air Force GPS IIIA spacecraft in February 2019. These “Batch A” spacecraft are currently in

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Satellite 2017: Connectivity to the “Internet of Things” is seen as key driver for future satellite traffic

While many have concerns over the Orwellian prospect of being spied on by our own appliances, the “Internet of Things” was viewed as a positive development by the leaders of satellite operators at the Satellite 2017 conference held in Washington …

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Long delayed PAZ spacecraft for Hisdesat now to launch with SpaceX

Spanish government satellite operator, Hisdesat Strategic Services (Hisdesat), announced (8 March) that it has signed a launch contract with US company SpaceX, for a shared Falcon 9 launch near the end of 2017. Hisdesat originally had a contract – signed …

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Vega light launcher completes ninth launch

The SENTINEL-2B Earth-observation spacecraft was carried to low-Earth Orbit (LEO) by a Vega light launcher at 0149GMT on 7 March. The mission was conducted by Arianespace, under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA), in service to the European …

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ISRO’s PSLV takes record for launch with most satellites aboard

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its Antrix commercial launch provider subsidiary gained kudos for achieving the first orbital launch with more than 100 payload spacecraft aboard. The PSLV-XL rocket launch carried 104 individual satellites, most of which were …

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Ariane 5 conducts first of its seven planned launches for 2017

The European Heavy-lift rocket, the Ariane 5ECA, carried out is first launch of 2017 at 2139 UTC on 14 February. The mission was an all European industry affair with the launch vehicle and both satellites carried being built in Europe. …

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Soyuz returns to service but Proton flights are delayed by engine quality control investigation

The crisis in quality control at the Russian Voronezh rocket engine manufacturer continues. Following the recent Soyuz-U failure, which was traced to particle contamination in its RD-0110 third-stage engine, a separate investigation into the last Proton rocket launch of Intelsat …

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President Obama – The Verdict: Better than his predecessor but weak on Syria and Space

It is, of course, posterity that gets the final say on whether a U.S. President was any good or not, but as he leaves office we can, at least, make a preliminary comparison of President Barack Obama’s record against that …

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Boeing and SpaceX get four more crew delivery missions each

While neither has yet had their manned capsule designs fly, and while both have had their test flight programmes delayed, both Boeing and SpaceX have been awarded contracts by NASA for four more manned commercial flights each to add to …

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China’s Kuaizhou 1A quick launch rocket puts three commercial satellites into orbit

The first launch of the “quick launch” Chinese Kuaizhou 1A (Feitian 1) launch vehicle took place from the Jiuquan launch centre in the Gobi Desert on 9 January at 0411 GMT. While the earlier Kuaizhou 1 incarnation of this rocket …

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Arianespace gets launch orders for two comsats: Intelsat 39 and JCSAT 17

Arianespace has received two launch contracts at the beginning of 2017. The first contract to launch Intelsat 39 in 2018 was signed with Intelsat. Arianespace signed another contract with Sky Perfect JSat for the launch of JCSat-17 in 2019. Both …

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Arianespace complete their 11th and final launch of 2016

The heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA rocket lifted off at 2030 GMT on 21 December, completing its seventh launch of 2016. This launch also marks the 76th straight success for the Ariane 5 and 90th launch overall. The mission, which took …

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S3 air-launch programme is finally declared bankrupt

The S3 air-launch project, which was announced in April 2013 by Swiss Space Systems (S3) Holding SA, has been ended after S3 was formally declared bankrupt by a court in the Swiss canton of Vaud.

The proposed launch system of …

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Atlas V 431 successfully puts Echostar 19 into super-synchronous orbit on way to GEO

An Atlas V 431 operated by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully operated a launch offered by the Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services (LMCLS) to orbit the EchoStar 19/Jupiter 2 communications satellite. Lift off took place from the Cape Canaveral …

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After Boeing said its commercial crew craft would be late…now it is SpaceX’s turn

In what is rapidly becoming a farcical situation within the NASA commercial crew programme, SpaceX has now admitted that its commercial crew capsule, “Crew Dragon” (aka Dragon V2), will have its first flight delayed from May 2017 until November. This …

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By order of Inmarsat: Hellas-Sat 3/Europasat jumps ship from Falcon Heavy to Ariane 5

The Hellas-Sat 3/Europasat spacecraft which is co-owned by Inmarsat and the Arabsat subsidiary, Hellas-Sat, had previously been booked on-board a SpaceX Falcon Heavy, it will now be lifted into orbit by an Arianespace-operated Ariane 5 rocket. Inmarsat, which was in …

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Eight out of eight for Vega as it launches Gokturk 1

The Gokturk 1 (Gokturk 1A) reconnaissance satellite was launched successfully at 1351 GMT on an Arianespace operated Vega launch vehicle flying out of the Kourou launch site in French Guaina.  The launch was the eight mission success (seven orbital one …

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ULA begins “Rocketbuilder” internet sales site

The United Launch Alliance has jumped onto the internet sales wagon and now has a specially designed site to design your own launch mission with. Their Rocketbuilder.com site allows potential users to cost up their rocket according to which year, …

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SpaceX wins US$112 million SWOT launch contract from NASA

The launch contract to launch the Surface Water & Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission has been awarded by NASA to SpaceX. The launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 will fly from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in April 2021. …

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