Vega Launcher: Full Support for the Return to Flight Activities From Italian and French Institutions

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

ROME (Avio PR) — After the yesterday meeting in Rome, the Undersecretary of State with responsibility for Space Riccardo Fraccaro and the French Minister of Finance with responsibility for Space Bruno Le Maire, issued a joint statement highlighting the full institutional support to the Ariane and Vega programmes, with particular regard to the return-to-flight of the Italian launcher designed and produced by Avio S.p.A. with the ESA (European Space Agency) mandate.

The support was also reiterated by the Italian Interministerial Committee for Space and Aerospace Policies.

The full statement is below


RUAG Space’s New Payload Fairing Provides Quieter Ride to Orbit

faring separation system pillars (Credit: RUAG Space)

ZURICH, Switzerland (RUAG Space PR) — RUAG Space, a leading supplier to the space industry, has successfully developed and tested a new low shock jettison system for payload fairings. This enables a quieter and smoother journey to space for satellites or other payload.

The required payload fairings for the European launchers Ariane and VEGA have been produced by RUAG Space in Emmen, Switzerland, since the 1970s. As part of the Future Launchers Preparatory Programme (FLPP) of the European Space Agency (ESA),


NanoRacks Sends Groundbreaking Satellite, Biological Research to ISS

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (NanoRacks PR) –  NanoRacks, the leading provider for commercial access to low-Earth orbit, has brought yet another unique payload mission to the International Space Station. Carrying a professional protein crystal experiment, college-level biological research, and a debris capturing microsatellite (MicroSat), this mission continues to push the boundaries of commercial opportunities on the International Space Station.

The SpaceX CRS-14 Dragon was successfully installed on the Harmony Module of the International Space Station at 9:00 EDT on Wednesday.

Unrest Continues in French Guiana

Flight VS13 was the 13th Soyuz liftoff performed from French Guiana since this vehicle’s 2011 introduction at the Spaceport. (Credit: Arianespace)

The protests that have largely shut down French Guiana show no sign of diminishing as locals and government officials in France remain far apart.

The movement behind more than two weeks of social unrest in French Guiana has called for a complete shutdown of the overseas territory from Monday, after a police officer was injured.

Activists are protesting decades of under-investment in the French territory in South America, paralysed by a general strike that 37 unions called on March 25.

Locals last week rejected an offer from Paris to inject a billion dollars of aid to the territory, home to 250,000 people, instead demanding $2.5 billion (Dh9 billion) immediately.

The protests also led to the indefinite postponement of an Arianespace rocket launch at Europe’s Guiana Space Centre in Kourou.

A Collective to Get Guiana Moving, spearheading protests to improve economic development and job creation programmes, on Saturday called for a complete blockade from Monday of the territory, which relies on huge injections of public funds.

Read the full story.

Snecma Vinci Engine Completes Development Tests

Vinci engine (Credit: Snecma)
Vinci engine (Credit: Snecma)

VERNON, France (Snecma PR) – The fifth development model (M5) of the Vinci® rocket engine designed by Snecma (Safran), has successfully completed its ground firing tests.

Vinci® is a new-generation cryogenic rocket engine – fueled by liquid hydrogen and oxygen – intended for the upper stages of the upcoming Ariane 5 ME and Ariane 6 launch vehicles. It can be restarted in flight, and develops three times more thrust than the HM7B engine now powering the upper stage of the current Ariane 5 ECA launcher.


Ariane Readied for 200th Launch, Soyuz Heads Toward 1,800

Ariane 5 ECA for flight V184 climb away from the Guiana Space Centre on the evening of 7 July 2008.


Basic build-up of the milestone 200th Ariane for launch is now complete at the Spaceport, marking a new milestone in preparations for an Ariane 5 mission that will loft a European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) next February to service the International Space Station.

During activity in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, the Ariane 5 ES version of Arianespace’s heavy-lift workhorse was fitted with its equipment bay, followed by installation of the EPS upper stage.

With these steps completed, the Ariane 5 is ready for transfer to the Final Assembly Building, where the ATV – named after German astronomer/mathematician Johannes Kepler – will be installed.  The Final Assembly Building currently is occupied by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher version, which is waiting to receive its payload of the HISPASAT 1E and KOREASAT 6 telecommunications satellites for a liftoff scheduled on December 28 from French Guiana.


Produced by Rocket Center Progress of Samara (TsSKB-Progress), Soyuz rocket marked its 1765th successful mission on Dec. 15,  TsSKB-Progress DG Alexander Kirilin said at Baikonur. To remind, Soyuz-FG modification injected into orbit Soyuz TMA-20 vehicle with three crew on Dec. 15, at 22.09 MSK.

Kirilin noted that 5 Soyuz modifications are in operation by the Russian Space Industry.

Soyuz-FG is featured by reliability ratio of 0,952.

Another ‘brother’-rocket in the Soyuz family, Soyuz-ST, is slated for its maiden launch from European space port in French Guiana next year.

Astrium Receives $217 Million Contract to Upgrade Ariane 5

Ariane 5
Ariane 5


  • Astrium, industrial prime contractor for the European launcher, is to develop a new, more powerful version of Ariane 5
  • Ariane 5 ME will have a re-ignitable upper stage and be capable of launching payloads of up to 12 tonnes into orbit
  • Contract worth €150 million over two years

The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a contract with Astrium for the initial development phase of its programme to enhance the performance of the Ariane launch vehicle and make it even more competitive.


Arianespace Marks 30 Years of Rocket Launches

Ariane 5
Ariane 5

3 December 2009

The 30th anniversary of Ariane’s first flight was celebrated tonight in Washington, D.C., where Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall underscored the importance of launch services maturity and continuity in today’s competitive marketplace.