A commercial mission developed by the Japanese company Astroscale rocketed into space on a Russian Soyuz launcher Monday with 37 other payloads, ready to kick off an orbital “dance” with two small spacecraft demonstrating how satellite sweepers might one day drag junk out of orbit.
Sporting a new blue and white paint scheme to mark the upcoming 60th anniversary of the first human spaceflight, a Russian Soyuz rocket loaded with 38 international satellites has rolled out to its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan ahead of a planned liftoff Saturday.
A mysterious small satellite built by the German company OHB, purported to be a pathfinder for a Chinese-owned communications constellation, took off from New Zealand Wednesday and soared into orbit on top of a Rocket Lab Electron launcher.
NASA managers tried for the last time earlier this month to coax the InSight lander’s long-stuck subsurface heat probe into the Martian soil, but after seeing no more progress, ground teams decided to end their efforts and focus on the mission’s other science objectives.
After scrubbing a countdown Saturday to review sensor data, Rocket Lab launched its first mission of 2021 from New Zealand at 2:26 a.m. EST (0726 GMT) Wednesday. The company’s light-class Electron rocket carried a super-secret payload for OHB, a German-headquartered satellite manufacturer.
A small communications satellite built by the German company OHB — a payload so secret that no one has officially disclosed its name or end user — is set to ride a Rocket Lab Electron launcher into orbit Saturday from New Zealand.
Virgin Orbit and Rocket Lab teams are gearing up for their first missions of the year in the coming days, with Virgin’s air-launched rocket set for its second demonstration flight and Rocket Lab’s Electron booster poised to launch a small German-owned communications satellite.
Rookie astronaut Raja Chari — a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot — veteran physician-astronaut Tom Marshburn, and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer have been assigned to fly to the International Space Station on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship in the fall of 2021.