A European Vega rocket deployed six commercial satellites in orbit, including a new Airbus-built eye-in-the-sky for high-resolution Earth-imaging, on a successful launch from French Guiana on Wednesday night after two of the last three Vega missions failed.
After two of the last three Vega rocket launches ended in failure, Arianespace launched another Vega launcher from French Guiana at 9:50 p.m. EDT Wednesday (0150 GMT Thursday) with Airbus’s Pléiades Neo 3 commercial Earth observation satellite and five secondary payloads.
Six satellites are set to ride a light-class European Vega rocket into orbit from French Guiana on Wednesday night, the first Vega launch since a failure last year that officials attributed to human error.
A Soyuz rocket lifted off Sunday from Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East with 36 internet satellites built on Florida’s Space Coast for OneWeb, bringing the company’s fleet to 182 spacecraft, more than a quarter of the way to building out a constellation of nearly 650 orbiting relay nodes.
The next batch of 36 OneWeb internet satellites lifted off at 6:14 p.m. EDT (2214 GMT) from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East. The Florida-built broadband satellites rode into orbit on a Russian Soyuz rocket procured under a contract with Arianespace.
A Soyuz rocket is standing on a launch pad at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East for liftoff Sunday with the next 36 satellites for OneWeb’s internet network, the sixth Soyuz mission dedicated to the commercial broadband constellation.
Arianespace announced this week it is organizing a contest open to startups, labs, and universities for a free launch of a nanosatellite on a future rideshare mission, likely on an Ariane 6 or Vega rocket.
A Soyuz rocket took off from a cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East and deployed 36 Florida-built OneWeb internet satellites into orbit Thursday. Another batch of OneWeb satellites will launch next month, continuing the build-out of a planned fleet of 648 spacecraft to provide global broadband services.
SpaceX and OneWeb — space industry rivals and owners of two of the largest fleets of commercial satellites — are set to add more spacecraft to their internet networks Wednesday with launches from Cape Canaveral and Russia.