Proton M Launches Mission Extension Vehicle, Comsat

Proton launch (Credit: Roscosomos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On October 9, 2019, at 10:17:56 the Proton-M carrier rocket with Briz-M booster together with Eutelsat 5 West B and Mission Extension Vehicle-1 satellites successfully launched from launchpad No.39 pad No.200 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The start and the flight of the launch vehicle went as expected with no remarks.

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Upcoming Launches Include Mission Extension Vehicle, ICON and Starlink Satellites

Mission Extension Vehicle refuels satellite. (Credit: Orbital ATK)

Four upcoming launches in the United States, Russia and New Zealand feature payloads to refuel a communications satellite, study space weather, expand SpaceX’s Starlink network, and test out new technology.

October 9

Proton
Payloads: Eutelsat 5 West B communications satellite, Mission Extension Vehicle 1 (MEV 1)
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Launch Time: 6:17 a.m. EDT (1017 GMT )

This is the first flight of the MEV, which will refuel the Intelsat 901 communications satellite. Both satellites on this launch were built by Northrop Grumman.

October 9/10

Pegasus XL
Payload: Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite
Launch Platform: Stargazer L-1011 aircraft
Departure Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Window: 9:25-10:55 p.m. EDT on Oct. 9 (0125-0255 GMT on Oct. 10)

NASA’s ICON mission will study disturbances in the ionosphere caused by terrestrial weather and solar storms that disrupt radio transmissions and GPS navigation. ICON has suffered repeated delays due to technical problems. The original launch date was in June 2017. The launch is being conducted by Northrop Grumman.

October 14/15

Electron
Payloads: Palisade CubeSat
Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Launch Window: 7:00-11:00 p.m. EDT on Oct. 14 (2300-0300 GMT on Oct. 14/15)

Rocket Lab’s “As The Crow Flies” mission is the ninth launch of the Electron rocket Astro Digital’s Palisade technology demonstration satellite is a 16U CubeSat with a next-generation communications system and an an on-board propulsion system.

NET October 17

Falcon 9
Payloads: ~ 60 Starlink 1 communications satellites
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Time: TBD

SpaceX will launch the second group of Starlink 1 broadband satellites no earlier than Oct. 17.

Quantum Satellite Completes Thermal Vacuum Testing

Quantum satellite in thermal vacuum facility. (Credit ESA)

TOULOUSE, France (ESA PR) — The Quantum satellite – Europe’s reprogrammable telecommunications satellite – built through an ESA Partnership Project with its operator Eutelsat successfully completed thermal vacuum testing on 28 September. 

The huge test chamber at Airbus’s Astrolabe facility in Toulouse took the “chameleon satellite” through its paces over the past five weeks.

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Ariane 5 Launches 2 Communications Satellites

Ariane 5 liftoff on June 20, 2019 (Credit: ESA)

KOUROU, French Guiana, 21 June 2019 (ESA PR) — An Ariane 5 has delivered the T-16 and Eutelsat-7C telecom satellites into their planned orbits.

Arianespace announced liftoff at 21:43 GMT (23:43 CEST, 18:43 local time) yesterday from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The mission lasted about 33 minutes.

T-16 with a launch mass of 6330 kg, was the first to be released after about 27 minutes. The 3400 kg Eutelsat-7C was released 6 minutes later.

T-16 owned by for AT&T (DirecTV) provides high-power broadcast services covering the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. T-16 has a design life of 15 years.

Eutelsat-7C, owned and operated by Eutelsat, provides high-power broadcasting for markets in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Turkey. This satellite has a design life of more than 15 years.

The performance requested for this launch was about 10 594 kg. The satellites totalled about 9730 kg, with payload adapters and carrying structures making up the rest.

Flight VA248 was the 104th Ariane 5 mission.











Payload + Platform Mating Completed for EUTELSAT QUANTUM

Mating of the Quantum Satellite. (Credit: Airbus)

TOULOUSE, France, 28 May 2019 (SSTL PR) — The payload and the platform for the EUTELSAT QUANTUM satellite were successfully joined together at the Airbus facility in Toulouse on 10th May.

The satellite has been developed as an ESA Partnership Project with satellite operator Eutelsat and satellite manufacturer Airbus, under ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) leveraging on Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, which provided the satellite’s innovative platform.

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Reprogrammable Satellite Takes Shape

The communications module of Quantum is slowly lowered onto the service module.(Credit: Airbus)

Toulouse, France, 15 May 2019 (ESA PR) — The payload and platform of the first European satellite that can be completely reprogrammed after launch have been successfully joined together.

The assembly of Eutelsat Quantum took place in the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France, on 10 May.

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UK Space Agency Provides More than £900,000 for Education and Range Control for Launch UK

Close to £1 million [$1.28 million] of government funding will be used to inspire the next generation of engineers and support future commercial range control services for UK spaceflight.

SWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — The UK Space Agency is awarding £325,000 [$415,357] to the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC) to bring the latest space science to children and families across the UK.

This will help create new resources based on real scientific and engineering challenges, including those facing the operation of UK spaceports, rockets and spaceplanes.

Together, up to 14 UK science centres and museums will deliver activities to 200,000 children and adults until March 2021, building on the success of ASDC’s Destination Space education programme, which reached more than 900,000 people during Tim Peake’s Principia mission.

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New Multi-million Pound Satellite Investment Deal for the UK

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — A new multi-million-pound deal by European businesses Eutelsat and Airbus will see satellite components and major parts assembled in the UK.

  • Eutelsat and Airbus invest millions in new satellite components and assembly in the UK
  • Deal will support hundreds of high quality jobs in Portsmouth and Stevenage and thousands of jobs in the supply chain
  • A year since the launch of the modern Industrial Strategy, this deal represents a further vote of confidence in the UK’s future economy and growing space industry

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Eutelsat Signs Long-term Multiple-launch Service Agreement with Arianespace

PARIS (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace and Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) have concluded a long-term multiple-launch service agreement on the occasion of the World Satellite Business Week in Paris.

The agreement covers five launches until 2027 and will provide Eutelsat with assured access to space with schedule flexibility at cost effective prices. With this agreement, Eutelsat is the first commercial customer to sign up to Ariane 6, Arianespace’s next-generation launch vehicle, expected to start service from 2020.

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Russia Places Proton Medium Development on Indefinite Hold

Proton variants (Credit: ILS)

SpaceNews reports that Russia has placed development of its Proton Medium rocket on indefinite hold. The booster was a lighter version of the Proton launch vehicle designed to compete directly with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.

In a statement to SpaceNews, [International Launch Services] said customers who have already contracted for a Proton Medium launch will be switched to the more powerful Proton Breeze M for no additional charge. ILS declined to say how many Proton Medium missions it has under contract. To date, only Paris-based satellite fleet operator Eutelsat has publicly announced booking a Proton Medium. Eutelsat made its Proton Medium reservation for an unnamed satellite as part of 2016 multi-launch agreement with ILS.

Khrunichev State Research and Production Center, the Moscow-based rocket builder that owns ILS, put Proton Medium development on hold as Russia weighs a speedier transition to the Angara family of rockets meant to replace Proton….

ILS, in its statement to SpaceNews, confirmed that Proton Medium development “has been placed on an indefinite hold” as Roscosmos conducts “an extensive review and analysis of the Russian space sector including the Proton and Angara launch systems.”

 











British Astronaut Tim Peake Visits Airbus Portsmouth to see Revolutionary Eutelsat Quantum Satellite

Eutelsat quantum satellite (Credit: Airbus)

PORTSMOUTH, England (Airbus PR) – Airbus’s Portsmouth site played host to British ESA astronaut Tim Peake today to see the latest revolutionary telecommunications satellite being built at the factory.

The Eutelsat Quantum satellite, being manufactured by Airbus and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), is the world’s first geostationary telecommunications satellite that will be fully reconfigurable in orbit. The satellite is being built under a public, private partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA), the satellite operator Eutelsat and Airbus.

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Arianespace Prepares for Intense 2018, Looks to Future with Ariane 6 & Vega C

Ariane 5 launch on Dec. 12, 2017. (Credit: Arianespace)

EVRY, France 9 (Arianespace PR) — The past year saw Arianespace carry out 11 successful launches; sign 19 additional launch contracts, including three for Vega C and two for Ariane 6; and enter a new governance structure alongside ArianeGroup.

Building on these achievements, Arianespace is targeting a record number of launches in 2018, while actively focusing on the next decade with its Ariane 6 and Vega C launchers.
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ESA Role in Europe’s First All-electric Telecom Satellite

Eutelsat 172B satellite (Credit: Airbus Defence and Space)

 

PARIS (ESA PR) — Europe’s first all-electric telecom satellite has reached its final working orbit above the Pacific Ocean. Eutelsat-172B, built for Eutelsat by Airbus, carries new technologies developed through ESA-led projects, including fully articulated thruster arms.

The satellite relied entirely on electric thrusters to climb from its initial orbit into its planned slot over the equator some 35 800 km up, and is now using them to hold position.

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Bezos Provides More Details on New Glenn

Jeff Bezos unveiled a video simulation of a New Glenn launch (above) at the Satellite 2017 conference in Washington, DC, this morning. He revealed that Eutelsat is the first customer to sign up for a launch.

The booster is designed to lift 45 tons to low Earth orbit and 13 tons to geosynchronous transfer orbit. The first stage is also designed to be launched 100 times. It will have six landing legs.

I had hoped he would reveal something of his lunar delivery service plan that is circulating among policy makers in Washington, But, Bezos said not a word about it.