Virgin Orbit announced April 2 it has identified an airport in Japan as a potential site for launch operations, joining airports in the United States and Great Britain as hosts for the air-launch company.
Since 60% of Avio’s revenue comes from manufacturing, the French government’s March 16 decision to suspend launches from the Guiana Space Center shouldn’t impact revenues as long as Europe’s South American spaceport reopens within two to three months, Ranzo said.
SMC Commander Lt. Gen. Thompson: “The AEHF launch is one of those we consider absolutely mission essential.”
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries still expects to conduct the maiden flight of Japan’s H3 rocket this year, notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic.
Rocket Lab announced March 24 that it was delaying the next launch of its Electron rocket from New Zealand as the government there institutes a near-total lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
NASA representatives will be part of an ongoing SpaceX investigation into an engine anomaly on a recent Falcon 9 launch as the company prepares for a Crew Dragon mission carrying two NASA astronauts.
Virgin Orbit’s space launch business deemed ‘essential service,’ work allowed to continue at Long Beach
Virgin Orbit spokesman: “Unavoidably, this will have some impact on our launch date, and on the launches that immediately follow."
Rocket Lab is continuing with preparations for a launch later this month despite the coronavirus pandemic, although another small launch company’s plans for a launch this month remain unclear.
“While by no means immune from the broader economic downdraft, we nonetheless expect the Satellite & Space industry to fare somewhat better from a demand perspective than the economy-at-large,” the report said.
Virgin Orbit spokesman: "We are assessing things daily and keeping momentum up as best we can."
SpaceX successfully launched 60 satellites for its Starlink broadband constellation March 18, but failed to recover the rocket’s first stage, marking the company’s second consecutive booster miss on a Starlink mission.
Leveraging commercial practices must not exclude or degrade mission assurance, as history has amply demonstrated.
Arianespace paused launch activity from Europe’s South American spaceport March 16 following the French government’s announcement that non-essential activities should be limited in response to the growing coronavirus pandemic.