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.
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.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 12:17 p.m. EST (9:17 a.m. PST; 1717 GMT) Saturday with an oceanography satellite jointly developed by U.S. and European space and weather agencies. The rocket’s first stage booster returned to a bullseye landing back at Vandenberg.