Much is at stake for the space industry in how the Air Force proceeds with a “launch services agreement” that has been in the works for months. Bidders already have commented on an earlier draft request for proposals and are now awaiting the final RFP.
Stratolaunch announced Sept. 19 that the company has achieved another milestone in the development of a unique giant aircraft that will serve as a launch platform.
The European Space Agency stepped up to be Arianespace’s first customer for the next-generation Ariane 6 rocket, while keeping Soyuz as a backup option.
Astro Digital has confirmed that two satellites it launched as secondary payloads on a Soyuz rocket in July have failed, joining several other satellites that mysteriously failed on that mission.
Speaking at the World Satellite Business Week in Paris Sept. 12, top executives of the world’s five leading launch service providers agreed that the future small-satellite launch market will favor ridesharing and customized services on larger launch vehicles rather than tailored launches by the newcomers
Virgin Orbit, before being spun off from human spaceflight-focused Virgin Galactic in March, had set out to complete around three test flights of LauncherOne, before ramping up for commercial operations.
Satellite operator SES has selected Arianespace to launch a fifth set of O3b satellites as well as a large geostationary orbit communications satellite, the companies announced Sept. 12.
Blue Origin will likely launch the third iteration of its New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle by year’s end, paving the way for a human-rated version and ironing out the reusability plan for the orbital New Glenn rocket.
Global satellite fleet operator Inmarsat said Sept. 12 that it has chosen Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to launch Inmarsat-6 F1 in 2020 aboard an H-2A rocket.
Arianespace is contracted to launch Metop-SG A1 and Metop-SG B1, two replacement polar satellites, between 2021 and 2023.
NASA and companies that operate launch sites and other facilities at Cape Canaveral are preparing for the arrival of a powerful hurricane that has already postponed one launch on the other side of the country.
The chief executive of Virgin Galactic said Sept. 7 that the company’s second suborbital spaceplane was “at the edge” of beginning powered test flights, after at least one more glide flight.
Arianespace is rescheduling the Ariane 5 launch meant for yesterday to the end of the month, having traced the source of the computer-triggered mission abort to a solid-propellant booster problem.