2013 Year in Review | July

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Gen. William Shelton says that the contract award for the Air Force’s Space Fence next-generation space-object tracking system is delayed due to the Defense Department’s Strategic Choices and Management Review.

A Russian Proton rocket fails just after liftoff, destroying three Glonass navigation satellites, in the fourth Proton anomaly in two years. The failure is blamed on faulty installation of attitude-control sensors on the first stage.

Thales Alenia Space wins a 322.5 million-euro contract to build Europe’s Euclid dark-energy satellite, with launch scheduled in 2020.

A spat between SpaceX and Blue Origin, which gave NASA competing proposals to lease the mothballed shuttle launch pad 39A, spills into public view. SpaceX wants the pad to itself; Blue Origin wants to maintain the pad as a multiuser facility.

OHB AG of Germany wins a contract, valued at 816 million euros, for the three-satellite SARah second-generation German military radar reconnaissance program, to be operational by 2019. Rival Astrium is a principal subcontractor.

A U.S. GMD interceptor misses its target during a test. The failure, which followed a two-year hiatus in intercept testing of the nation’s primary missile shield, is the third consecutive missed intercept for the program.

India’s ISRO launches the first of seven satellites planned for a regional navigation system, joining the U.S., Russia, China, Europe and Japan.

ESA, with French backing, confirms the design for next-generation Ariane 6 rocket with solid-fueled lower stages. The goal is to be able to build and launch the vehicle for 70 million euros starting around 2020.

The United Arab Emirates, after a decade-long process, selects Astrium and Thales Alenia Space of Europe to build the two-satellite Falcon Eye optical reconnaissance system for 800 million euros.

Satellite fleet operator Eutelsat of Paris buys Satmex of Mexico in a $1.14 billion transaction giving Eutelsat a major stake in Latin America.

MDA Corp. agrees to launch all three Radarsat Constellation Mission satellites aboard a single Falcon 9.

A ULA Atlas 5 rocket successfully launches the U.S. Navy’s second Lockheed-built MUOS mobile communications satellite.