The Italian Space Agency on July 23 kick-started development of a communications satellite that Italy will share with other nations as part of the pan-European GovSatCom program.
Airbus and the French Space Agency CNES have agreed to cofinance a constellation of four Earth observation satellites while leaving the door open for Airbus to finance additional satellites with other partners.
Giulio Ranzo, CEO of Avio, the Colleferro, Italy, company that builds the Vega and future Vega C rocket, said the ESA council session included missions for both Avio-built rockets during the transition years to Vega C.
With the maiden flight of the Ariane 6 now 18 months away (in July 2020), Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël said the company had anticipated signing a manufacturing contract with ArianeGroup in the second part of last year to begin production beyond the first rocket.
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.
Thales Alenia Space said Jan. 10 it received a contract from the European Space Agency worth approximately 150 million euros ($172.4 million) to build the Fluorescent Explorer satellite.
The Italian Ministry of Defense may use two satellites to replace a single existing satellite so that it can use the Italian-led Vega C or Vega E rocket, according to a defense official.
ESA is pushing European industry to continue innovating and finding efficiencies even after Vega C’s introduction in 2019 and Ariane 6’s debut in 2020.
European Space Agency member states have agreed to keep all production of P120 solid rocket boosters in Italy instead of opening a second production line in Germany.
The European Space Agency today committed 89.7 million euros ($106.7 million) split between a new advanced iteration of the Vega launcher and the successor to a spaceplane demonstrator that flew in 2015.
Speaking at Space Tech Expo Europe, Marc Valés, head of future programs at ArianeGroup, said that in addition to the existing cubesat standard, 50-kilogram-class nanosatellites should also be standardized.
Italian launch vehicle producer Avio has raised 60 million euros ($65.6 million dollars) by selling slightly over two thirds of the company’s shares on Italy’s stock exchange.