India’s PSLV rocket on Sept. 26 successfully placed the Indian SCATSAT-1 meteorological satellite and seven co-passengers into separate polar low Earth orbits.
Investigators have traced the explosion that destroyed a SpaceX Falcon 9 on the pad Sept. 1 to a “large breach” in the helium system in the rocket’s second stage, although the root cause of the accident remains unknown.
SpaceX on Sept. 23 said preliminary results of its investigation into the Sept. 1 explosion as its Falcon 9 rocket was preparing for a static test firing was cause day a “large breach” in the cryogenic helium system in the second-stage liquid oxygen tank.
The Atlas 5 launch of the commercial remote sensing satellite is on hold for at least a week because of a wildfire near its California launch pad.
Airbus Defence and Space on Sept. 15 said it would finance, apparently on its own, a constellation of four very-high-resolution optical Earth observation satellites to launch in 2020 and 2021.
Europe’s Vega small-satellite launcher on Sept. 15 successfully placed five high-resolution optical Earth observation satellites — one for the Peruvian government and four for Google-owned Terra Bella — into low Earth orbit.
United Launch Alliance, which is trying to bolster its appeal to potential launch customers, said Sept. 13 it has at least one spot open on its 2017 manifest for an Atlas 5 launch.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell, speaking Sept. 13 at the World Satellite Business Week Conference in Paris, said Falcon 9 could return to flight this year, although SpaceX has yet to determine what caused the Sept. 1 explosion.
The first launch of an Orbital ATK Antares rocket with a new first stage engine is now planned for early October, a company official said Sept. 13.
The U.S. Air Force has indefinitely pushed back the Oct. 3 launch of a Lockheed Martin-built missile warning satellite after a supplier told the company that one of its components “experienced an anomaly” on an unspecified satellite.
Despite two failures in a little more than one year, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 vehicle is not in immediate danger of losing its Air Force certification, a top Defense Department official said Sept. 13.
The European Space Agency (ESA) on Sept. 13 gave final go-ahead for development of the next-generation Ariane 6 heavy-lift launch vehicle, confirming a rendezvous that many thought impossible when it was set in December 2014.
Virgin Galactic announced a contract for four launches of satellites for a planned communications constellation.
International Launch Services on Sept. 13 announced two new variants of its Proton rocket that will be sized to launch smaller geostationary satellites.