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.
Arianespace completed its third launch of the year Feb. 18, sending a Japanese communications satellite and a South Korean weather satellite into geostationary transfer orbits.
A Soyuz rocket launched 34 small broadband satellites for OneWeb Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, marking the beginning of a multi-launch campaign for the company.
Instead of kicking off a sustained campaign of monthly launches, OneWeb intends to take a break in April after putting up 68 satellites with the pair of launches planned for February and March.
SpaceX disclosed new details about its small satellite rideshare efforts Feb. 5 as it, and other programs like it by large launch vehicle operators, put new pricing pressure on small launch vehicle companies.
The European Commission has “pre-booked” four launches using Europe’s next-generation Ariane 6 rocket.
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.