May 9, 2021

Privately-funded mission takes off to begin space debris cleanup trials

March 22, 2021

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.

Soyuz rocket with special paint scheme rolls out to Baikonur launch pad

March 18, 2021

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.

Launch of asteroid deflection demonstrator slips to November

March 9, 2021

The launch of a NASA spacecraft designed to smash into an asteroid to try out a technique that could protect Earth from threatening space rocks has slipped from July until November, at the earliest, after development delays partially caused by coronavirus-related work slowdowns.

Vega rocket deploys 53 satellites on successful return to flight mission

September 3, 2020

Delayed a year by a launch failure, the coronavirus pandemic and a stretch of stiff upper level winds this summer, an Italian-made Vega rocket vaulted into orbit from French Guiana on Wednesday night and deployed 53 small satellites from 13 countries to punctuate a flawless return to flight mission.

Live coverage: Vega rocket launches with 53 small satellites

September 2, 2020

Arianespace launched a solid-fueled Vega rocket from French Guiana at 9:51 p.m. EDT Wednesday (0151 GMT Thursday) after delays of more than five months caused by the coronavirus pandemic and unfavorable upper level winds. The Italian-built launcher will deploy 53 small satellites into orbit.

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.

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