The next flight of Europe’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 rocket, set for July 28 from French Guiana, will carry a record payload of three multi-ton satellites toward geostationary orbit, including a pair of U.S.-built commercial communications payloads and Northrop Grumman’s second robotic satellite servicing spacecraft.
The launch of a European Ariane 5 rocket was aborted moments after its main engine ignited Tuesday. The dramatic last-second hold was the first time an Ariane rocket launch was aborted after engine start since March 2011. Arianespace has not set a new target launch date for the mission, which will loft two U.S.-built communications satellites for Intelsat and B-SAT.
SpaceX announced Monday two new Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rocket missions from Cape Canaveral, Arianespace said it cinched a contract to launch a Japanese TV broadcasting satellite, and International Launch Services revealed a deal to launch a Spanish telecommunications payload, ending a drought in commercial Proton launch orders.