Failure struck Russia’s troubled space program for the second time in three weeks Saturday, when a Proton rocket carrying a high-tech satellite for Mexico’s new $1.6 billion space-based communications network crashed shortly after liftoff.
Russia’s Proton rocket launched from Kazakhstan at 0547 GMT (1:47 a.m. EDT) Saturday with Mexico’s Centenario communications satellite, but the Russian space agency reported an anomaly occurred some time after liftoff.
NASA has formally certified SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to launch all but the space agency’s most costly robotic science missions, beginning with a a U.S.-French oceanography satellite set for liftoff from California in July.
The U.S. Air Force has identified the launch of a next-generation GPS navigation satellite for the first in a series of competitive rocket procurements between United Launch Alliance and SpaceX, service officials announced Wednesday.
Soprano and would-be space tourist Sarah Brightman, who was in training for a flight to the International Space Station this fall aboard a Russian Soyuz ferry craft, will not be chasing her dream aloft after all.
An experimental suitcase-sized space probe launched as a secondary payload with Japan’s Hayabusa 2 mission in December will miss an encounter with an asteroid early next year, according to Japanese scientists.
Russia is delaying the return to Earth of three space station crew members by about a month in the wake of the failure of a Russian Progress supply ship that spun out of control moments after reaching orbit April 28. Launch of three fresh crew members also will be delayed, from May 26 to late July.