Satellite insurers on Oct. 5 said the Sept. 1 failure of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket while preparing a static-fire test, which destroyed a $200 million satellite, wiped out 20 years of insurance premiums for prelaunch coverage and will almost surely result in a sharp rate increase.
Japan’s DSN-1 X-band military communications satellite was damaged during transport from Japan to Europe’s Guiana Space Center spaceport in South America and will miss its planned summer launch aboard a European heavy-lift Ariane 5 rocket, also delaying its intended co-passenger, India’s GSAT-18 telecommunications satellite, industry officials said.
Tuesday's rundown begins with news that Arianespace has postponed the launch of two satellites scheduled for June 8.
Thursday's briefing begins with a top U.S. Air Force launch official saying the Pentagon is looking at using Ariane 5 rockets to launch U.S. military satellites as a potential stopgap measure.
Europe’s Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket on Jan. 27 successfully placed the first of Intelsat’s Epic-generation satellites into transfer orbit, a launch so important for Intelsat that the fleet operator was willing to forgo a co-passenger to secure the earliest possible launch slot.
The satellites — the first of two Sky Muster Ka-band broadband satellites for Australia’s NBN Co. and the Arsat-2 Ku- and C-band telecommunications satellite for Arsat of Argentina — were both reported by their owners to be healthy in orbit and sending signals.
EchoStar will launch a broadband communications satellite on an Atlas, not an Ariane, next year.