Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace, said Airbus, the satellite’s manufacturer, asked to switch from Vega to Soyuz to avoid further delays getting Falcon Eye 2 into orbit.
Arianespace is poised to launch up to 22 missions this year, a number that would nearly double the company’s record.
Arianespace and ESA announced the signing of a contract Tuesday for launch of the Euclid dark universe exploration mission.
A Soyuz rocket successfully launched an Italian Earth observation satellite Dec. 18, with the European CHEOPS mission to analyze exoplanets and three small auxiliary payloads also along for the ride.
The mission, dubbed ClearSpace-1, is slated to launch in 2025 to capture and deorbit a 100-kilogram Vespa payload adapter an Arianespace Vega left in orbit after deploying ESA’s Proba-V remote-sensing satellite.
Globalstar is borrowing $199 million through a loan arranged by its controlling shareholder Thermo and fleet operator EchoStar.
OneWeb has delayed the beginning of its regular launch campaign by a month to allow more testing of its small broadband satellites.
Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël said the Ariane 6 rideshare mission will be able to deliver 8,500 kilograms into a lunar transfer orbit.
SpaceX plans to launch regular Falcon 9 rideshare missions starting in March and won’t delay launches for tardy customers, a company executive said Oct. 8.
With the size and growth of commercial markets uncertain, launch companies are looking to government agencies to varying degrees for stability and funding for the development of new vehicles.
Orders for geostationary satellites are beginning to rebound in a market is far more varied than in the past.
Investigators think Vega’s failure originated in the forward dome area of the Zefiro-23, the second of three solid-fueled stages the rocket expends to deliver satellites to orbit.
Satellite broadband company Ovzon said Aug. 24 that a better offer from Arianespace for a 2021 launch aboard an Ariane 5 prompted it exit an agreement to launch its first fully owned satellite on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy.
As SpaceX turned its attention to the larger Falcon 9 and programs like commercial cargo and crew, its presence at the annual Conference on Small Satellites, and the overall smallsat industry, faded. At this year’s conference, SpaceX retained its low profile but also announced its return to the smallsat market.