A former space shuttle orbital maneuvering system engine has been delivered to Germany for attachment to the European-built service module destined to steer NASA’s next Orion spacecraft on a course around the moon on an uncrewed test flight in late 2018.
An Ariane 5 rocket took off on a rare morning launch Thursday with four Galileo navigation satellites, the heavy-lifter’s first flight in support of the European positioning and timing fleet. Liftoff from French Guiana occurred at 1306 GMT (8:06 a.m. EST).
Eight satellites blasted off Monday on top of an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, including an instrument to track tropical cyclones, a pathfinder for a U.S.-owned commercial Earth observation fleet, and multiple spacecraft for Algeria.
Europe’s solid-fueled Vega booster vaulted away from a launch pad in the South American jungle late Thursday and deftly delivered five sharp-eyed Earth observation satellites into two different orbits for the Peruvian government and a Google-owned mapping company.
Two orbits. Five satellites. Five upper stage burns. Follow the key events scheduled during the European Vega rocket’s launch of the PeruSat 1 high-resolution reconnaissance satellite and four commercial eyes-in-the-sky owned by Google’s Terra Bella imaging company.
A solid-fueled Vega rocket blasted off from French Guiana on Thursday with five Earth observation satellites for Peru and the Google subsidiary Terra Bella. The four-stage booster fired away from its tropical launch pad right on time at 9:43 p.m. EDT (0143 GMT Friday).