Engineers have put the finishing touches on a prototype spaceship representing a leap in European space technology, aiming for liftoff Feb. 11 for a flight 260 miles into space and back to Earth for a pinpoint splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
A commercial satellite launched Sunday on a Russian Proton rocket successfully deployed in orbit thousands of miles above Earth to join Inmarsat’s new communications network providing high-speed data links between airplanes, ships and far-flung customers anywhere in the world.
Russia’s Proton rocket took off on its first launch of the year Sunday with a commercial satellite to expand Inmarsat’s next-generation mobile communications network. Liftoff occurred at 1231 GMT (7:31 a.m. EST), and it took more than 15 hours to place the Inmarsat spacecraft in the correct orbit.
A Russian Proton rocket is scheduled to take off from Kazakhstan on Sunday with the second spacecraft to serve Inmarsat’s $1.6 billion next-generation satellite communications network geared for getting faster links to customers on the move.
A Delta 2 rocket has lifted off from California’s Central Coast on Saturday with a NASA environmental satellite designed to improve flood and drought forecasts, map moisture in Earth’s soils, and track the planet’s water cycle.
Orbital Sciences Corp. and Energia have signed a contract worth approximately $1 billion for up to 60 Russian-made RD-181 rocket engines to power the redesigned first stage of the commercial Antares launcher.
The next liftoff of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has been reset for no earlier than Feb. 8, NOAA and NASA officials said Tuesday, apparently to give the launch provider more time to prepare for the mission.