WASHINGTON — European launch provider Arianespace completed its first launch of the year Jan. 16, sending two communications satellites into geostationary transfer orbits.
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.
Made In Space Europe and Luxembourg Space Agency won a European Space Agency contract to develop an inexpensive robotic arm for space applications.
British aerospace company QinetiQ will use a newly expanded factory to build heat transfer experiment infrastructure for the European Space Agency under a 9 million euro ($10 million) contract, the company announced Nov. 21.
The European Space Agency is preparing to allocate a few million euros to ensure Vega doesn’t have any repeats of its July launch failure, an agency official said Nov. 20.
A group of planetary defense advocates is asking European governments to fund a mission to a near Earth asteroid, three years after a similar mission failed to win approval.
Avio CEO Giulio Ranzo said during a Nov. 7 earnings call, said Vega is on track for a return to flight by March, though what payload will launch on the mission is still to be determined.
Top officials with the European Space Agency remain confident that they will be able to resolve the parachute problems that threaten to delay next summer’s launch of the ExoMars 2020 rover mission.
The head of the European Space Agency says he believes that member states will provide most, if not all, of the funding it is seeking for its array of programs at a ministerial meeting in November.