July 2, 2020

After weather delays, Arianespace delays Vega launch to recharge batteries

July 1, 2020

After an unusual stretch of excessive high-altitude winds prevented launch from French Guiana of 53 small satellites on a Vega rocket in June — and no sign of a letup in winds in the coming days — Arianespace said Wednesday that the mission will be delayed to Aug. 17 to allow time for teams to recharge launcher and payload batteries.

Live coverage: Vega launch of 53 smallsats again delayed by high-altitude winds

June 27, 2020

After months of delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Arianespace scrubbed back-to-back Vega launch attempts Saturday and Sunday due to unfavorable high-altitude winds over the European-run Guiana Space Center in South America. The Vega rocket is awaiting launch on a rideshare mission carrying 53 small satellites into orbit for 21 customers in 13 countries.

Relativity books up to six launches for Iridium, reveals plans for Vandenberg pad

June 24, 2020

Relativity Space, a small launch startup aiming to fly its orbital rocket from Cape Canaveral for the first time next year, announced Wednesday it has signed a contract with Iridium for up to six launches of the company’s spare communications satellites. Relativity also announced it plans to develop a second launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to allow for missions to polar orbits.

NASA says JWST won’t be ready for launch in March 2021

June 16, 2020

The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope will not happen in March 2021 — the mission’s previously-scheduled launch date — after the coronavirus pandemic forced a more than 50 percent reduction in staff levels at the observatory’s assembly and test facility.

Assembly of Mars rover’s rocket to begin this week

May 24, 2020

Two key pieces of hardware needed for NASA’s next Mars rover — an Atlas rocket booster and sterile components of the rover’s sample collection system — recently arrived at Cape Canaveral ahead of the mission’s scheduled launch July 17.

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