WASHINGTON — Arianespace completed its final Ariane 5 launch of 2018 and penultimate overall mission for the year on Dec. 4, carrying a satellite for India and another for South Korea to geostationary transfer orbit. The Ariane 5 lifted off from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana along the South American coast at 3:37 p.m. Eastern. The Indian Space Research Organisation’s GSAT-11 telecom satellite detached from the rocket's upper stage 29 minutes later, followed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute’s GEO-Kompsat-2A weather satellite another four and a half minutes later. The mission was Arianespace of Evry, France's sixth Ariane 5 mission of the year and 10th cumulative launch for 2018. ISRO's GSAT-11 satellite was originally scheduled to launch in May, but the Indian space agency called off the mission to inspect the satellite — the largest ever built in India — for mistakes. As a result, GSAT-11's original co-passenger, … [Read more...] about Arianespace Rocket Launches India’s Largest Satellite. South Korean Weather Satellite, Too.
Rocket launch today
Russia’s state space corporation, Roscosmos, successfully launched a cargo capsule to the International Space Station this afternoon — using the same type of rocket that failed more than a month ago with two astronauts on board. It’s a sign that Roscosmos has potentially fixed the issue that led to the failure and that the rocket may be ready to carry people again. And that’s good news, since the vehicle’s next crewed launch is coming up on December 3rd. The rocket that launched today was the Soyuz FG, which sent up a Progress capsule filled with food and supplies to the three crew members on board the ISS. It’s technically not the first Soyuz launch since the accident, though. Roscosmos has already launched versions of the Soyuz rocket three times since the October incident, but those vehicles were not in the same configuration as the one that failed. The other flights used variants of the Soyuz-2, an upgraded version of the rocket with modified … [Read more...] about Russia’s successful rocket launch is a good sign for next month’s astronaut mission
source Flickr/spacexphotos SpaceX, the rocket company founded by Elon Musk, has tied its own record for most rocket launches in one year. Musk’s company used a Falcon 9 rocket to send a Qatari communications satellite into space on Thursday afternoon, marking the SpaceX’s 63rd launch since 2010. The satellite, Es’hail-2, left NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida around 3:45 p.m. ET, and the booster landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean shortly after. SpaceX has launched rockets for more than a dozen international clients. The new satellite will provide telecommunication services to the Middle East and North Africa. Es’hail-1, Qatar’s earlier satellite, was deployed in August 2013 in partnership with Eutelsat, a French telecommunications operator. The Falcon 9 is SpaceX’s reusable workhorse rocket; this was the company’s 18th mission in 2018, tying its total from last year. Four more launches using a … [Read more...] about SpaceX just tied its own rocket-launch record — watch the live video of today’s mission
Europe's latest Earth-observation satellite blasted off into orbit today (Nov. 6) on a mission to improve weather forecasts and monitor changing climates around the globe. MetOp-C, the third and final satellite of the European Meteorological Operational satellite program (MetOp), lifted off from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, at 7:47 p.m. EST (0047 GMT on Nov. 7), on a European Soyuz rocket provided by the private launch company Arianespace. This was the third successful Soyuz rocket launch since the Oct. 11 failure of a crew launch to the International Space Station on a Russian version of the Soyuz rocket. That failed launch suffered a booster separation issue that triggered an automatic in-flight abort, separating its Soyuz crew capsule from the rocket. The capsule parachuted safely back to Earth. Its crew, NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, were unharmed. [Launch Photos! Europe's MetOp-C Soars Into Orbit on Soyuz Rocket] … [Read more...] about Soyuz Rocket Launches European Weather Satellite MetOp-C Into Orbit
Today, Russian space agency Roscosmos blamed a bend in a sensor for last month’s dramatic failure of a Soyuz rocket launch, which forced two astronauts to make a harrowing emergency landing. After the launch failure on October 11th, Roscosmos promptly started looking into the cause. Initial speculation focused on the rocket’s boosters, one of which didn’t seem to separate properly from the rest of the spacecraft. Roscosmos just released new information from the investigation, which concluded this week. Russian news agency TASS reports that investigators found that a sensor — which monitors the separation of the boosters from the rocket — was deformed, bent by about six degrees. Six degrees isn’t a lot, but it was enough to keep the lid of a nozzle on one of the boosters from opening. That booster then hit the fuel tank of the central part of the rocket, lurching it violently off course. The investigation concluded that the issue occurred while the … [Read more...] about Russia’s space agency reveals why last month’s rocket launch failed