Arianespace Closes Out Year with Launch of French Defense Satellite

A Soyuz-2 launches the CSO-2 defense satellite on Dec. 29, 2020. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — For its 10th and final launch of the year, Arianespace used a Soyuz rocket to orbit the CSO-2 defense and security observation satellite for the French CNES space agency (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) and DGA defense procurement agency (Direction générale de l’armement), on behalf of the French armed forces.

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Soyuz Launch Delayed by 24 Hours Due to Weather

Soyuz-2.1b launch (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — As weather conditions observed above the Guiana space center were not favorable to a launch today (risk of non-acceptable high altitude winds profile at Lift-off time), Arianespace decided to interrupt the final VS25 launch chronology.

The soonest possible launch date for the VS25 Flight is Tuesday, December 29 at:

> 11:42:07 a.m., in Washington, D.C.
> 01:42:07 p.m., in Kourou, French Guiana,
> 16:42:07, Universal Time (UTC),
> 05:42:07 p.m., in Paris,
> 07:42:07 p.m., in Moscow,
> 01:42:07 a.m., in Tokyo on December 30

The Soyuz launch vehicle and the satellite CSO-2 are in stable and safe conditions.

European Space and Digital Players to Study Development of EU’s Satellite-based Connectivity System

BRUSSELS, 23 December 2020 (Airbus PR) — The European Commission has selected a consortium of European satellite manufacturers, operators and service providers, telco operators and launch service providers to study the design, development and launch of a European-owned space-based communication system.

The study will assess the feasibility of a new initiative aiming to strengthen European digital sovereignty and provide secure connectivity for citizens, commercial enterprises and public institutions as well as providing global coverage for rural and ‘not-spot’ areas. Complementing Copernicus and Galileo, this new EU flagship programme, once given the green light, would fully exploit the synergies of the technological potential akin to the Digital and Space industries. The contract value of the year-long feasibility study amounts to € 7.1 million.

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Soyuz Rocket Deploys 36 OneWeb Satellites on Arianespace’s First Mission from Vostochny Cosmodrome

Soyuz-2 rocket lifts off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome with 36 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)

VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, Russia (Arianespace PR) — OneWeb’s fourth launch overall -the third for 2020- is the first to be conducted with Soyuz by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia.

By successfully placing 36 new OneWeb constellation satellites into orbit, Arianespace resumed the deployment of this client’s satellite network, which now is composed of 110 satellites in low Earth orbit.

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Investigation Concludes Crossed Wires Caused Loss of Vega Booster, Satellites

Vega takes off on its 17th flight on Nov. 16, 2020. (Credit: Arianespace webcast)

PARIS, 17 December 2020 — On Tuesday, November 17, Arianespace announced the loss of the Vega VV17 mission, which was carrying two payloads, SEOSAT-Ingenio, an Earth-science observation satellite for the European Space Agency (ESA), on behalf of Spain’s Center for Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), and TARANIS for France’s National Centre for Space Studies (CNES).

The first three stages functioned nominally until the ignition of the AVUM upper stage, eight minutes after liftoff. At that time, a degraded trajectory was detected, followed by a loss of control of the vehicle and the subsequent loss of the mission.

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Arianespace to Launch EUTELSAT 10B Satellite

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s Flight VA253 was equipped with a new vehicle equipment bay that enabled the launcher’s payload capacity to be increased. (Credit: Arianespace)

EVRY, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace and Eutelsat have confirmed that EUTELSAT 10B, Eutelsat’s next generation high-throughput telecommunications satellite, will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket.

EUTELSAT 10B is scheduled for launch in 2022 on one of eight Ariane 5 missions remaining to be performed with the heavy-lift launcher.

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Fourth Flight for OneWeb will be First Arianespace Mission from Vostochny Cosmodrome

OneWeb satellites being prepared for launch aboard a Soyuz-2.1b booster from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. (Credit: Roscosmos)

VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, Russia (Arianespace PR) — OneWeb – the global satellite communications company based in the UK – resumes flights.

This 53rd Soyuz mission conducted by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate will be operated from Vostochny Cosmodrome and represents OneWeb’s fourth launch overall and the third for this year.

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Arianespace to Launch CO3D Constellation on Vega C Booster

Artist’s impression of Vega-C launcher in flight. (Credit: ESA-Jacky Huart)

EVRY, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace has signed a contract with Airbus to launch four new-generation optical observation satellites of the CO3D (Composante Optique 3D) constellation, to be orbited using the Vega C launcher.

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Arianespace Launches UAE Satellite on Russian Soyuz Rocket

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace has successfully launched FalconEye, a very-high-performance Earth observation satellite for the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces.

With the eighth launch in 2020, Arianespace once again confirms the reliability and flexibility of the Soyuz launcher, which just realized its 24th launch from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.

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Inverted Cables Caused Vega Rocket to Fail

Vega takes off on its 17th flight on Nov. 16, 2020. (Credit: Arianespace webcast)

Engineers say they have identified what caused the loss of a European Vega rocket and its two satellites on Monday evening. The BBC reported:

The problem was traced to the actuators that change the direction of thrust on the Vega’s upper-stage engine.

When they received commands from the guidance, navigation and control (GNC) system, they turned the motor’s nozzle counter to the intended direction.

Roland Lagier, from Arianespace, the company that markets and launches Vega rockets, said cabling on the thrust vector control system must have been inverted when the upper-stage engine was assembled.

“This was of course a production and quality issue. It was a human error and not a design one,” the chief technical officer told reporters.

Lost in the failure were Spain’s SeoSat-Ingenio Earth observation satellite and France’s Taranis research spacecraft, which was to study high-atmosphere lightning.

Vega has compiled a record of 15 successes and two failures since its maiden flight on Feb. 13, 2012. The first failure occurred during the 15th flight on July 11, 2019. An investigation determined the most likely cause was a thermo-structural failure in the forward dome area of the Z23 second stage motor.

Vega made a successful return to flight on Sept. 3, 2020, by launching 53 small satellites on its first rideshare mission.

D-Orbit Announces Successful Origin Satellite Deployment Mission

The satellite carrier completes deployment of all 12 SuperDove satellites

FINO MORNASCO, Italy D-Orbit PR) — D-Orbit, the in-orbit transportation company, announced the successful completion of the deployment phase of Origin mission, the first of ION Satellite Carrier. ION, D-Orbit’s satellite platform, successfully released 12 SuperDove satellites for Earth-imaging company Planet, in the precise orbital slots requested by the client.

The vehicle has been operational since September 3rd, when it was successfully released from an Arianespace Vega launcher. On September 25th, it released successfully the first SuperDove satellite of the batch, and the last satellite was deployed on October 28th, at 10:38:46 UTC.

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OneWeb to Begin Launching Satellites Again as Early as December

EVRY, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace and OneWeb will resume launch operations to continue the deployment of the OneWeb constellation.

The next Soyuz launch is planned as soon as December 2020 from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.

Pursuant to an amended launch contract with OneWeb, the London-based communications company, Arianespace will perform 16 more Soyuz launches from three spaceports (Kourou, Baikonur and Vostochny) beginning in late 2020 and continuing through 2022. These launches will enable OneWeb to complete the deployment of its full global constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites by the end of 2022.

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Intelsat Finalizes Satellite and Launch Vehicle Contracts for U.S. C-band Spectrum Transition

McLean, Va. (Intelsat PR) – Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network, today announced it has finalized all of its required contracts with satellite manufacturers and launch-vehicle providers to move forward and meet the accelerated C-band spectrum clearing timelines established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year.

The company has entered into a formal agreement with U.S.-based Maxar Technologies to build the final satellite required to support its C-band transition and maintain the FCC’s post-transition, “same or better” quality-of-service standard. Earlier this summer, Intelsat announced manufacturing contracts with Maxar and U.S.-based Northrop Grumman for six satellites.

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Satellogic Launches 11th Satellite to Low-Earth Orbit

NewSat Mark IV (Credit: Satellogic)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Satellogic PR)–Satellogic, the first company to develop a scalable Earth observation platform with the ability to remap the entire planet at both high-frequency and high-resolution, announced the launch of a new spacecraft from the Guiana Space Center via a launch procured by Spaceflight, Inc.

The satellite, a NewSat Mark IV, was delivered to a sun-synchronous low-Earth orbit on a Vega rocket from Arianespace at 1:51am UTC on September 3, 2020.

The spacecraft is named “Hypatia” after the philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician who lived in Alexandria and was a symbol of learning and science. She was renowned in her own lifetime as a great teacher and a wise counselor and became seen as an icon for women’s rights and a precursor to the feminist movement.

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