Two astronauts working outside the International Space Station Wednesday installed a European Space Agency data relay antenna and connected four of six cables to partially power a new ESA experiment platform. They also removed two solar array handling fixtures to clear the way for a future power system upgrade.
For its first mission of the year, SpaceX launched the Airbus-built Turksat 5A communications satellite to cover Turkey, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa with data relay and television broadcast services. A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 9:15 p.m. EST Thursday (0215 GMT Friday).
Presenting the results of an inquiry into a European Vega rocket failure last month, officials said Friday that misleading instructions and inadequate preflight checks caused teams to overlook wrongly-installed cables on the launcher’s upper stage steering system. Arianespace aims to resume Vega launches before the end of March.