European launch provider Arianespace is planning to conduct a record number of Vega launches this year, and, if OneWeb is ready, a return to launching from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
After years of delays, construction mishaps and outrageous corruption scandals, Russia’s new premier space launch facility — the Vostochny Cosmodrome — saw the first successful flight of commercial payloads aboard a Soyuz 2.1A rocket.
Three space station crewmembers returned to Earth Dec. 20 after a remarkably eventful stay aboard the orbiting laboratory.
European launch provider Arianespace completed its final launch of the year Dec. 19, sending the French spy satellite CSO-1 into orbit on a Soyuz ST-A rocket.
The two crewmembers on a Soyuz mission to the International Space Station that was aborted two minutes after liftoff in October will get a second chance to go to the ISS next year, NASA announced Dec. 3.
An Arianespace Soyuz mission will launch Nov. 7 without any delays resulting from the failure of a crewed, Russian-operated Soyuz launch earlier this month, Arianespace said Oct. 30.
The final report into the launch failure that forced the abort of a crewed Soyuz spacecraft is scheduled for completion by the end of the month, the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos announced Oct. 20.
Arianespace said Oct. 11 it’s too soon to say whether the Soyuz-ST rockets it uses to launch satellites from South America will be grounded following the failure of a Russian Soyuz-FG rocket carrying crew to the International Space Station.
With Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft grounded for an indefinite period, NASA managers said Oct. 11 that they will look at ways to keep the current International Space Station crew in orbit for an extended period if needed.
Thursday’s dramatic launch abort was the first time a crewed spacecraft bound for the ISS has suffered a mission critical failure. But it was not the first time that a manned Soyuz rocket has been forced to activate its launch abort system.
An American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut are reported to be in good condition after a problem with their Soyuz rocket minutes after liftoff Oct. 11 forced them to abort their mission to the International Space Station and make an an emergency landing in Kazakhstan.
As the crew of the International Space Station worked Aug. 30 to fix, at least temporarily, a minor air leak, the incident illustrated the growing orbital debris risk to the outpost and strains in American and Russian approaches to ISS operations.