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“Italian Space Agency”
Artemis I Carries the Future of NASA with It
The Space Launch System rocket fairing with ESA and NASA logos on the launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. The new ESA logo and NASA’s ‘worm’ logo will be along for the ride on the first full mission of the powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Of the six launches known to be scheduled to close out August, there’s only one – Artemis I — that truly matters in any real sense. The others will be duly recorded but little remembered in what could be the busiest launch year in human history.

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  • Parabolic Arc
  • August 21, 2022
The Upcoming Week in Launches: Artemis I and Some Other Ones

The Wikipedia orbital launch page lists six launches to close out August. The big one, of course, is NASA’s Artemis I mission next Monday. The others, not so momentous but still worth listing. Disclaimer: This schedule is subject to change without notice. Parabolic Arc takes no responsibility for delays, changes, additions or what have you. And, as always, no wagering. Tuesday, August 23 Launch Vehicle: Long March 11Launch Site: Xichang […]

  • Parabolic Arc
  • August 21, 2022
SpaceX Rockets U.S. Launches to New Heights in 2022
Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites on June 17, 2022. (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Powered by 33 flights of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster, the United States leads all nations with 48 launch attempts through the first seven months of the year. The total is three short of the number of U.S. launches attempted last year, and far ahead of the 27 launches conducted by second place China through the end of July. The U.S. has conducted more launches than the 43 flights conducted by the rest of the world combined.

A number of notable flights were conducted. SpaceX launched two Crew Dragons to the International Space Station (ISS), including the first fully privately funded mission to the orbiting laboratory. United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched Boeing’s CST-100 Starship crew vehicle on an automated flight test to ISS, a crucial step before astronauts to fly on the spacecraft. Small satellite launch provider Rocket Lab conducted its first deep-space mission by sending a spacecraft the size of a microwave to the moon.

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  • Parabolic Arc
  • August 2, 2022
The Best Laid Plans: Europe’s Ambitious Launch Year Goes Awry Due to International Tensions, Schedule Delays
The James Webb Space Telescope lifted off on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, at 13:20 CET on 25 December 2021 on its exciting mission to unlock the secrets of the Universe. (Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

On Christmas Day 2021, an European Ariane 5 rocket roared off its launch pad in French Guiana with the most expensive payload the booster had ever carried, the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope. The launcher performed perfectly, sending the most powerful space telescope on a journey to its final destination 1.5 million km (900 million miles) from Earth. The launch was so accurate that Webb should have sufficient propellant to perform science operations for much longer than its planned 10-year lifetime.

There was a collective sigh of relief among the European, American and Canadian scientists and engineers involved in the long-delayed program. It was a superb Christmas gift to a world suffering through the second year of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • Parabolic Arc
  • August 1, 2022
Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Reaches Space Station

ROME (ASI PR) — The samples of Italian extra virgin olive oil have reached the International Space Station, thanks to a project included in the framework of the agreement between the Italian Space Agency and CREA, in collaboration with Coldiretti and Unaprol-Consorzio Olivicolo Italiano.

As part of its role as National Agency, ASI promoted the project and, in the context of its institutional relations with other Space Agencies and as a country participating in the ISS program, made available the opportunity to fly and coordination with ESA necessary for the implementation of the experiment.

The collaboration with Coldiretti and Unaprol-Consorzio Olivicolo Italiano aims to underline the importance of the Italian agri-food heritage and to enhance and sensitize an asset for the country’s exports, as well as to promote the principles of proper nutrition.

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  • Parabolic Arc
  • July 27, 2022
Following the Success of the Inaugural flight, Arianespace to Start Operations of Vega C with Seven Launchers Already Sold
Vega-C lifts off on its maiden flight on July 13, 2022. (Credit: Arianespace)
  • Following the success of its inaugural flight, Vega C will now begin its operational phase, under the responsibility of Arianespace, with a target of at least four launches per year and a fast-growing backlog that already includes 7 launches and 10 auxiliary payloads.
  • Vega C is an upgrade to the Vega launcher and can better answer institutional and commercial customers’ needs. Thanks to its increased capabilities, Vega C will serve the burgeoning Earth observation market as well as long-term institutional and commercial needs.
  • The first commercial launch of Vega C is scheduled in November 2022. The flight, designated VV22, will deliver Pléiades Neo 5 and 6, a pair of satellites wholly funded, manufactured and operated by Airbus.

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — On Wednesday, July 13 at 10:13 am local time in Kourou, French Guiana, the first Vega C, the new European launcher designed and manufactured by AVIO, was successfully launched under the supervision of ESA from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana (South America).

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  • Parabolic Arc
  • July 13, 2022
How to Watch the First Vega-C Launch on July 13
Vega C launch vehicle (Credit: ESA)

ESA Mission Update

ESA’s new medium-lift Vega-C rocket is nearly ready for its inaugural flight. You can follow live on ESA Web TV. Flight VV21 will lift off as soon as 13 July at 13:13 CEST, pending suitable conditions for launch.

    Broadcast begins 12:45 CEST/11:45 BST [6:45 a.m. EDT/10:45 UTC] on ESA Web TV

    13:13 CEST/12:13 BST [7:13 a.m. EDT/11:13 UTC] – liftoff

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  • Parabolic Arc
  • July 9, 2022
Avio Signs “Next-Gen EU” Contracts Funded with 340 Million Euros at Completion for New Green Liquid Propulsion Launchers

ROME (Avio PR) – The first two contracts of Italy’s implementation of the “Next Gen EU” initiatives for Space were awarded to Avio. In the past few months, the Italian Government had decided to invest around 340M€ [USD $346.3 million] to improve the technological capability of the Italian industry for “Access to Space”, entrusting the European Space Agency (ESA) as the Contracting Authority with the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Italian Space Agency and the Ministry of Innovation & Digital Transformation. The goal is to leverage existing capabilities established in Italy since the early 2000s through the Vega, Vega C and Vega E programs to develop next generation propulsion technologies and launch system architectures.

The contracts were signed at the headquarters of the Ministry of Technological Innovation and Digital Transition in Rome, in presence of Minister Vittorio Colao, ESA Launchers’ Director Daniel Neuenschwander and Avio CEO Giulio Ranzo.

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  • Parabolic Arc
  • July 6, 2022
Vega-C Set for Inaugural Launch Next Week
Vega rocket in flight (Credit: Arianespace)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA’s new medium-lift Vega-C rocket is nearly ready for its inaugural flight, with its four stages stacked stages and ready to receive the payload fairing before final checks and launch from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. 

Flight VV21 will lift off as soon as 13 July, pending suitable conditions for launch.

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  • Parabolic Arc
  • July 5, 2022
Artemis Mission Agreement Signed by ASI and NASA on Lunar Surface Module
Italian Space Agency President_Giorgio Saccoccia and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson at signing ceremony. (Credit: Italian Space Agency)

ROME (Italian Space Agency PR) — The Italian Space Agency and NASA have signed an agreement for bilateral cooperation. The objective is the realization of a preliminary study dedicated to the development planning of the housing capacities related to the future lunar modules, the Lunar Surface Multi-Purpose Habitation (MPH) Module (s) proposed by ASI, of the Artemis program.

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  • Parabolic Arc
  • June 29, 2022