Arianespace announced Sept. 12 it signed a contract with Intelsat to launch the IS-45 satellite in the first half of 2026. The satellite will fly with unnamed co-passengers on the more powerful version of the Ariane 6, the Ariane 64.
Full Name COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation - 4 Mission Agencies ASI [Lead Agency (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana)] Launch Date Feb 2025
Evidence Mounting That Avio Intends to Split from ArianespaceBy Andrew Parsonson -June 6, 2023Avio CEO Giulio Ranzo told Wired that work being done on a reusable demonstrator may be a prelude to an entirely new product line for the company.Ranzo’s made the statements during an interview with the Italian version of the technology website as part of its “Italy, Place of Innovation” series of articles.In the interview, Ranzo stated that an in-flight demonstrator that the company had received European covid recovery funds to develop will determine whether it is “feasible” for Avio to develop reusable launch vehicles. The vehicle in question is the two-stage In-Flight Demonstrator (IFD) which will be used to validate the company’s M60 and M10 methane-fueled rocket engines and to experiment with first stage reentry and reusability. If the experimentation is successful, Ranzo stated that he does not exclude the possibility of opening a new “innovative, cleaner, and less expensive product line.” This appears to be even more evidence that the company is eyeing a split from Arianespace which currently manages the marketing and launch of Avio’s Vega line of launch vehicles.In response to questions about the possibility of Avio splitting from Arianespace, a spokesperson told European Spaceflight in March that the company had no plans to “market and manage Vega launches” itself. However, the company was also granted preclearance by CNES in August 2022 to launch from a new commercial facility that is being built on the grounds of the old Diamant launch facility at the Guiana Space Centre. As Avio already has Vega and Vega C launch facilities at the space centre, it was, at the time, unclear what vehicle the company intended to operate out of the new facility.In June 2022, Avio secured €340 million in European covid recovery funds to develop the bulk of a new launch system outside the structures of the European Space Agency. The M10 upper stage engine is the exception with the company already receiving funds to develop the engine for Vega E, the vehicle that is intended to replace Vega C towards the end of the decade. Ranzo has now all but admitted that the company is eyeing a new product line distinct from Vega that will be developed from the work being done on the LFD demonstrator. The only question that remains is what will become of Vega E?Avio has already received ESA funding for the development of Vega E. Will Avio, as a result, be building Vega E at the same time it is building and operating an entirely new vehicle in the same class? Or is that the clue? Does Avio intend to build a larger vehicle with the aim of replacing the medium-launch capability vacuum left when Europe selected to cease launching Soyuz? Possibly but then the company would be unable to utilize the new commercial launch facility at the Guiana Space Centre which CNES has earmarked for micro and mini launch operators. This again leaves us with the question: does Avio intend to be building two launch vehicles in the same class at the same time?On the question of reusabilityDuring the interview, Ranzo told Wired that reusability was not ignored by European operators but rather rejected for “market reasons.” He went on to state that projects like Europe’s Iris2 megaconstellation may be the catalyst that makes it feasible for the continent to develop and build reusable launch vehicles. The feasibility of reusability will, however, likely be less dependent on market demand and more dependent on vehicle size.In January, MaiaSpace CEO Yohann Leroy explained that the company’s Maia launch vehicle would see a drop in performance of two-thirds of the vehicle’s payload capacity when it was being recovered. He went on to explain that recovering and reusing the launch vehicle would not reduce the cost of the launcher to a point that would justify the loss in performance. Leroy did not share how many times each Maia vehicle would be reused, which certainly affects the equation. However, it is looking increasingly likely that the reuse of small launch vehicles may not be economically viable. It is a reality that the likes of Relativity Space and Rocket Lab have already acted on choosing to shift focus to the development of larger vehicles.
Vega C LightThe Vega C Light project was envisioned to be a dedicated ride to space for satellites that would otherwise have flown aboard a rideshare mission. The three-stage vehicle would have utilized the Zefiro 40 second stage and Zefiro 9 third stage from Vega C for its first two stages. The upper stage would be a variant of the Avum upper stage that would replace the liquid propulsion system with a solid fuel alternative. Vega C Light would have been approximately 17 metres tall with a payload capacity of up to 300 kilograms to a 500 km SSO orbit.Despite the Avio website still outlining this version of the vehicle, the company has confirmed with me that the project has since evolved to become a demonstrator for its methalox engine technology. The project currently doesn’t have a name and is referred to internally as In-Flight Demonstrator or IFD for short. The vehicle is expected to be launched on a maiden flight in 2026. It will have a small payload capacity and will instead be focused on proving the technology that will be applied to the company’s next generation of products.In parallel, the company is also currently developing the M10 methalox upper stage engine that will be utilized aboard Vega E, Avio’s planned successor to Vega C. It has also received €120 million in funding from the Italian government to develop a first methalox engine. It is, as a result, safe to say that Avio sees its future in methane-powered launch vehicles.
Tandem-LGlobal (radar) observation of dynamic processes on the earth's surface (2 sats), measuring e.g. forest biomass and height, glacier dynamics, sea ice extent, soil moisture, ocean currents, deformation of the earth's surfaceLaunched in: 2029Repeat cycle: 8 daysOrbit height: 760 kmOrbit type: Sun SynchronousOrganisation: DLR - GermanyPostponed, on-hold. Launch planned for 2029
The first test flight of Miura 5 is scheduled for the end of 2024.
Technical issues, risks, and performance-to-date indicate a near zero probability of ERO/CCRS or SRL/MAV meeting the 2027/2028 Launch Readiness Dates (LRDs). Potential LRDs exist in 2030, given adequate funding and timely resolution of issues.
Peter B. de Selding @pbdes.#ItalianDefenseMinistry registers at @ITU a constellation of 19,708 satellites; 899 planes in LEO & MEO orbits; S-, X-, military-Ka bands. @defis_eu @EU4Space @ASI_spazio .https://bit.ly/3tauBSM
Can someone please make a correction in the NEXT SPACEFLIGHT Rocket Launch Manifest?The upcoming Vega launch on Oct 5th needs to changed from SSMS #16 to SSMS #5.And the SSMS #5 launch needs to be removed from December 2024
The country's second earth observation satellite, which is widely known as THEOS-2, is expected to launch into orbit on Oct 7, said Minister of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Supamas...Please credit and share this article with others using this link:https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2653949. View our policies at http://goo.gl/9HgTd and http://goo.gl/ou6Ip. © Bangkok Post PCL. All rights reserved.
- On October 6, Arianespace will launch two Earth observation satellites, THEOS-2 (Thailand Earth Observation System-2), manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space for the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), and FORMOSAT-7R/TRITON for Taiwan Space Agency (TASA).- Flight VV23 will also embark ten auxiliary payloads.- For this mission, the Vega launcher will target a sun-synchronous orbit.Arianespace’s next mission is targeted on Friday, October 6, 2023 at 10:36 p.m. local time (October 7, at 01:36 a.m. UTC), from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana with a Vega launcher. The mission, called VV23, will place its passengers into sun-synchronous orbit.This mission will embark a main passenger, THEOS-2, and a secondary one, FORMOSAT-7R/TRITON:THEOS-2 is a high-resolution Earth observation optical satellite, part of the next-generation national geo-information system provided by Airbus Defence and Space to support the Kingdom of Thailand’s key development priorities. Delivering 0.5-meter ground resolution imagery, this end to end system will complement THEOS-1, launched in 2008 for Thailand, one of the few nations in the world able to fully exploit geo-information for societal benefits.FORMOSAT-7R/TRITON, developed by the Taiwanese Space Agency (TASA), is equipped with the Global Navigation Satellite System-Reflectometry (GNSS-R), which collects signals that bounce off the sea surface. It helps scientists calculate the wind field over the oceans. This data will be shared with the global meteorology community, contributing to the forecast of typhoon intensity and trajectory.The 21st mission of Europe’s Vega light launcher will also orbit ten auxiliary payloads for six different clients:ANSER (Advanced Nanosatellite Systems for Earth observation Research) LEADER, ANSER FOLLOWER 1 and ANSER FOLLOWER 2. This cluster of three cubestats working together to study and monitor the quality of inland (reservoirs) water over Iberian Peninsula is led by the Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial. The launch services is funded by the IOD/IOV program of the European Union.ESTCube-2, manufactured by the University of Tartu (Estonia), aims to demonstrate deorbiting with plasma brake technology and qualify a deep-space nanospacecraft platform for future missions that will use the electric solar wind sail. The launch services for this mission is funded by the IOD/IOV program of the European Union.N3SS (Nanosat 3U pour la Surveillance du Spectre) project is a demonstration system for detecting and localize radio-frequency jammers on civil spectrum. CNES is responsible for the system and satellite development and also in charge of the in-flight operations of the satellite. U-Space is the prime contractor for the platform development and the satellite AIT/AIV.PRETTY (Passive REflecTomeTry and dosimetrY) and MACSAT that will be launched on behalf of SAB-LS. The first one is a 3U cubesat with a primary payload equipped with a passive reflectometer in the L5 Band for GPS and Galileo; and the second one is an in-orbit demonstration (IoD) mission to demonstrate IoT (Internet of things) communication over 5G.PVCC (Proba-V Companion Cubesat), a 12U cubesat aiming at testing the performance of the payload on a cubesat platform in order to provide data to support the calibration of cubesat Earth observation missions. PVCC is an ESA mission lead by ESA/TEC for the design, launch and commissioning phases and by ESA/ESRIN and ESA/REDU for the operational and end-of-life phases.CSC-1 & 2, two 6UXL multi-payload IOD cubesats aggregating 7 payloads from 5 countries: Belgium, Spain, Estonia, France and Czechia. They are part of the European Union IOD/IOV program for which ISISPACE/ISL is responsible for the mission implementation.These small satellites will be carried as auxiliary payloads on the innovative Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) deployment system. The SSMS rideshare service, developed with the support of the European space industry, was first deployed by Arianespace in September 2020. Funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), Arianespace’s SSMS service will soon be joined by the Multiple Launch Service (MLS), a similar offering designed for the Ariane 6 launch vehicle. With these two services, Arianespace can offer a wide range of affordable launch opportunities for small satellites and constellations.Ten European countries contribute to Vega, which was developed by ESA, with the Italian Space Agency ASI as lead contributor and Avio (based in Colleferro, Italy) as the launcher prime contractor. Avio is in charge of all industrial operations up to liftoff. Vega has been part of the Arianespace launcher family since its first flight in 2012.
Jeff Foust @jeff_foustESA announced this morning it's targeting a return to flight of the Vega-C in the fourth quarter of 2024 to accommodate work to improve the design of the Zefiro 40 nozzle, after damage in a test in June, and perform two firing tests to confirm those changes.
Peter B. de Selding @pbdesItaly's $1.1B Iride EO constellation: 33 months to build, launch 1st 34 satellites (X-band, multi- & hyperspectral, AIS, very high-res optical.) Governance, data policy still TBD. @ASI_spazio @esa @EU4Space @defis_eu @CopernicusEU . https://bit.ly/459Pf2H
The second, and final, Vega launch is scheduled for the second quarter of 2024. Stéphane Israël, chief executive of Arianespace, said the payload for that mission, along with the Vega C return to flight, have yet to be identified. Arianespace expects to perform four Vega C flights in 2025 and subsequent years, with the possibility of increasing that launch rate to five or six a year.The Vega C manifest includes several launches for Copernicus, the joint Earth observation program of ESA and the European Commission. Among them is Sentinel-1C, a radar imaging satellite considered so critical that, at one point, ESA has discussed moving up its launch from the first half of 2023 before the Vega C launch failure took place last December. The spacecraft is too large to launch on the original Vega.“We are discussing with the European Commission and also with ESA how to best accommodate this situation,” Israël said. That includes, he said, finding “the best solutions to speed up what we can speed up.”ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher said any decision to move Sentinel-1C to a different launch vehicle, including a non-European one, will be in the hands of the European Commission, which takes ownership of the satellite before launch. “They will decide where and when to launch this satellite,” he said.
Peter B. de Selding @pbdesWith $398M from @defis_eu , @esa now fully integrated into #iris2 secure-comms constellation & development by #SpaceRise consortium; contracts to launch 4 @GalileoGNSS sats on 2 @SpaceX Falcon 9s in 2024 signed.