An Ariane 5 rocket emerged from its vertical assembly building Monday and rolled along dual rail tracks for a 1.7-mile (2.7-kilometer) journey to its launch pad at the Guiana Space Center on the northern coastline of South America, moving into position for blastoff Wednesday with four Galileo navigation satellites.
A European environmental satellite designed to monitor Earth’s oceans, lakes and vegetation lifted off Wednesday aboard a modified Russian ballistic missile originally built to carry nuclear warheads. The mission launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome around 500 miles north of Moscow at 1757:51 GMT (1:57:51 p.m. EDT).
Spaceflight Industries has booked reservations for two commercial rideshare missions on Arianespace’s Vega rocket, officials announced Tuesday, beginning with a proof-of-concept flight in early 2019 of a new Italian-built multi-payload dispenser tailored to accommodate small satellites and CubeSats seeking a ride into orbit.
A commercial Dragon spacecraft glacially approached the International Space Station on Wednesday, allowing a robotic arm controlled by Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai to reach out and grapple the supply ship as it soared 250 miles over Africa, completing SpaceX’s 14th mission to the research complex, and the second by the same capsule.