SpaceX successfully launched the SES 11 and EchoStar 105 communication satellites on Wednesday evening from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket landed on an off-shore drone ship.
Meanwhile, the launch of Progress 68 resupply ship was scrubbed from Baikonur for an unknown reason. The launch of the Soyuz rocket has been rescheduled for no earlier than Saturday Oct. 14 at 4:46 am EDT (0846 GMT).
There is a busy schedule of launches for the rest of the month. Nine launches are on tap, including seven in the next week. SpaceX is planning three flights this month, including launches from Florida and California within two days next week.
Atlas V Payload: NROL-52 reconnaissance satellite Launch time: 0759 GMT (3:59 a.m. EDT) Launch site: SLC-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Long March 2D Payload: Venezuelan Remote Sensing Satellite Launch time: Approx. 12:10 a.m. EDT (0410 GMT) Launch site: Jiuquan, China
Falcon 9 Payload: Iridium Next 21-30 communications satellites Launch time: 8:37 a.m. EDT; 5:37 a.m. PDT (1237 GMT ) Launch site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
H-2A Payload: Michibiki 4 navigation satellite Launch time: Approx. 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT) Launch site: Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
Falcon 9 Payload: SES 11/EchoStar 105 communications satellite Launch window: 6:53-8:53 p.m. EDT (2253-0053 GMT) Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
The Annual Compendium of Commercial Space Transportation: 2017 Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA AST)
2016 Launch Events
Space launch activity worldwide is carried out by the civil, military, and commercial sectors. This section summarizes U.S. and international orbital launch activities for calendar year 2016, including launches licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA AST). Countries and jurisdictions worldwide that possess functional and operating indigenous launch industries are the United States, Russia, China, European Union, India, Japan, Israel, Iran, North Korea, and South Korea. Several other countries, including Argentina, Brazil, and Indonesia, are developing launch vehicle technologies.
NASA’s historic Launch Complex 39A will see its first flight in nearly six years in mid-February when a SpaceX Falcon 9 launches a Dragon resupply ship to the International Space Station.
The California-based company announced over the weekend that the launch of the EchoStar 23 communications satellite, set to be the first from the renovated pad, would be delayed until after the CRS-10 Dragon supply flight.
SpaceX is leasing the historic launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center under a 20-year agreement with NASA. The company has been modifying the launch complex for launches of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy boosters.
SpaceX’s main launch complex at the adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Station has been out of action since September when a Falcon 9 caught fire and exploded as it was being fueled for a pre-flight engine test. Repairs are still under way.
Pad 39A last saw a launch in July 2011 with the 135th and final space shuttle mission. Atlantis flew a nearly 13-day logistics flight to the space station. Prior to the start of the shuttle program in 1981, the complex hosted Saturn V launches for the Apollo program.
Good evening – everything is progressing toward the ULA Atlas V launch carrying the EchoStar XIX satellite. The mission is set to lift off on a ULA Atlas V rocket on Sunday, Dec. 18 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window is 1:27-3:27 p.m. EST. Today’s L-3 forecast shows a 70 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.
Overall probability of violating weather constraints: 30% Primary concerns: Cumulus Clouds, Thick Clouds
Denver, Aug. 5, 2015 (Lockheed Martin PR) – Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT), has been selected by EchoStar Corporation to provide commercial launch services for the EchoStar XIX communications satellite. The satellite is scheduled to launch in late 2016 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
SES Americom announced on Friday that it will not attempt to salvage its AMC-14 communication satellite, which was stranded in a lopsided orbit on March 15 after a Proton M upper stage shut down prematurely. Instead, the company will file a $150 million insurance claim.
â€œSES and Lockheed Martin have carefully examined all the available options for repositioning this satellite into its intended geostationary orbit,â€ said Edward Horowitz, President and CEO of SES Americom. â€œUnfortunately, none of those options would allow effective use of the spacecraft. The various repositioning scenarios presented carry unacceptable risks, and would result in a severely shortened life of the satellite. Therefore, we have no choice but to claim a total loss of the satellite with our insurers.â€
Lockheed Martin built the satellite, which SES had completely leased to EchoStar. The American satellite television provider will file a separate $42 million insurance claim for its losses.
Space News‘ Peter B. De Selding takes a look at the choices facing Luxembourg-based SES, which owns the AMC-14 telecommunications satellite stuck in a lopsided orbit on March 15 by the failure of a Proton-M upper stage.
The company could use on-board engines to send the spacecraft directly to a geosynchronous orbit. Or it could loop the satellite around the Moon in a gravity-assist maneuver. Either method could use a large amount of the spacecraft’s fuel, cutting into its planned 15-year lifetime.
SES could declare the satellite a total loss and collect on a $192 million insurance policy. However, that option has a significant drawback: SES had leased the AMC-14 spacecraft entirely to satellite-television provider EchoStar of Littleton, Colo. As a result, SES would lose a significant revenue stream.
In a related story, Jeff Foust examines the Proton failure and the broader outlook for the launcher market over at The Space Review. Foust says SES might pursue both options, raising the AMC-14 to a geosynchronous orbit and filing an insurance claim based on the spacecraft’s reduced lifetime.
Foust reports that rocket providers are struggling to keep up with rising demand, which is driving up launch costs. In addition, insurance costs are rising due to a number of recent launch mishaps. The Proton has experienced three failures in the last two years and will likely be grounded for some time. The solution might be to get more launch providers into the market.