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.
Megaconstellation startup OneWeb asked a court to dismiss a June lawsuit by Virgin Orbit, claiming that it doesn’t accurately portray a 2015 launch contract.
The Ariane 5 took off at 3:30 p.m. Eastern from Europe’s Guiana Space Center in South America, carrying the Intelsat-39 communications satellite and the EDRS-C laser relay satellite to geostationary transfer orbits.
Two of the largest commercial launch providers separately announced plans Aug. 5 to provide dedicated launches of small satellites to sun synchronous and geostationary orbits.
The fifteenth launch of a European Vega rocket ended in failure July 10, resulting in the loss of an imaging satellite for the United Arab Emirates.
Arianespace has finalized the payload for a Vega launch later this year that will carry more than 40 small satellites, the first in what the company hopes to be a series of dedicated rideshare missions.
Startups in the burgeoning small launch vehicle market acknowledge that only a handful of vehicles will survive a likely shakeout, driven more by commercial rather than government demand.