A European Ariane 5 rocket fired into space Saturday night from French Guiana with a commercial broadband satellite for SES and a French military telecom craft, setting a new payload mass record for geostationary transfer orbit on the final Ariane 5 flight before launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in December.
A European Ariane 5 rocket lifted off from the Guiana Space Center in South America at 10:10 p.m. EDT Saturday (0210 GMT Sunday). The mission, the last Ariane 5 flight before launch with the James Webb Space Telescope, deployed the commercial SES 17 telecom satellite and the French military’s Syracuse 4A communications payload.
Arianespace delayed the launch from French Guiana of a European Ariane 5 rocket with two geostationary communications satellites Friday to conduct more checks of ground support equipment at the spaceport. The mission, set to loft payloads for SES and the French military, is the final Ariane 5 flight before a mission in December with the James Webb Space Telescope.
A Russian Progress supply ship docked with the new Nauka lab module at the International Space Station Friday, completing a 29-hour free flight after detaching from a different port at the complex. The relocation positions the Progress spacecraft to assist with leak checks of the Nauka module’s propulsion system.
Rocket Lab said this week that its next mission, set for launch Nov. 10 after delays caused by a coronavirus lockdown in New Zealand, will include the company’s third booster recovery experiment. For the first time, Rocket Lab plans to have a helicopter in the downrange recovery zone to observe the descending booster in preparation for future mid-air catch attempts.