Two commercial satellite operators, Intelsat of Luxembourg and Japan-based Sky Perfect JSAT, have committed future spacecraft to launching on Ariane 5 rockets, European launch provider Arianespace said Jan. 4.
European launch provider Arianespace completed its 11th and final launch of the year Dec. 21, putting satellites for the largest regional operators in Asia and South America on their way to the geostationary arc.
Facing looming regulatory deadlines, Inmarsat announced Dec. 8 it was moving the long-delayed launch of a satellite to provide aeronautical broadband services from SpaceX to Arianespace.
Satellite fleet operator Eutelsat has paid its Russian counterpart, Russian Satellite Communications Co. (RCSS), monies overdue on a multi-year contract valued more than 400 million euros ($424 million) despite an ongoing legal battle between the Russian government and the shareholders of the former Yukos oil company.
The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, on Oct. 21 gave written warning to the French government that it would take France to court in six months unless France’s Arianespace launch-service company frees up about 300 million euros ($330 million) in long-overdue payments.
Europe’s Arianespace launch-service provider — the only one of the three principal commercial launch operators not grounded by rocket problems — might be able to add a supplemental heavy-lift Ariane 5 vehicle to its 2017 manifest if market conditions demand it, Arianespace Chief Executive Stephane Israel said Sept. 8.
A European Ariane 5 rocket on Aug. 24 successfully placed two Intelsat-owned telecommunications satellites into geostationary transfer orbit, a launch that included the second of Intelsat’s do-or-die Epic high-throughput satellites.
The European Commission on July 20 approved the Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL) takeover of launch-services provider Arianespace, saying companies had accepted conditions the commission imposed to minimize the chance of anti-competitive behavior.
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.
A European Ariane 5 ECA rocket on June 18 successfully placed commercial telecommunications satellites for Dish Network of the United States and BRI bank of Indonesia into geostationary transfer orbit.
OHB CEO Marco Fuchs discusses Arianespace's reorganization and the role of small shareholders, Germany's role in Europe's Vega rocket and the upcoming European Commission and European Space Agency decisions.
Tuesday's rundown begins with news that Arianespace has postponed the launch of two satellites scheduled for June 8.
Launch-service provider SpaceX on May 30 said it would meet with insurance underwriters in the coming weeks to discuss the company’s plans to certify used rocket stages as fit for reuse, a long-held SpaceX ambition as a way to reduce launch costs.
A Europeanized Russian Soyuz rocket on May 24 successfully placed two European Galileo positioning, navigation and timing satellites into medium-Earth orbit – the 13th and 14th in a series of 26 Galileo spacecraft, with more to come.
Now that SpaceX appears on the verge of being the first to reuse rocket hardware since NASA with the U.S. space shuttle, investors and competitors are sharpening their pencils to assess the business case.
Decisions by separate French courts have removed an immediate threat to the business relationship between French and European launch-service providers and satellite fleet operators caught up in the dispute between the Russian government and the former shareholders of Russia’s Yukos energy company.