May 22, 2019

All-Italian launch from French Guiana lofts innovative environmental satellite

March 22, 2019

A Vega rocket fired into orbit Thursday night from French Guiana with Italy’s PRISMA hyperspectral Earth-imaging satellite, commencing a busy period for the Vega launcher program as engineers prepare for the debut of the more powerful Vega-C booster in early 2020 and study a lighter variant to better compete in the growing smallsat launch market.

Vega launch timeline with PRISMA

March 21, 2019

The Italian PRISMA Earth observation satellite is set to ride a Vega launcher into a 382-mile-high (615-kilometer) orbit Thursday night from French Guiana on a mission that will take less than one hour from liftoff until spacecraft separation.

Q&A with Giulio Ranzo, CEO of Avio (members only)

March 21, 2019

Giulio Ranzo is the chief executive of Avio, the Italian company responsible for building the Vega rocket. Ranzo recently spoke with Spaceflight Now about the Vega rocket’s increasing launch rate, the debut of the new Vega C booster in 2020, and future plans to evolve the Vega design to compete with commercial microsatellite launchers.

Moroccan spy satellite launched aboard Vega rocket

November 21, 2018

A Vega launcher lifted off Tuesday night from a spaceport at the edge of South America’s Amazon rainforest, climbed into orbit on the power of four Italian- and Ukrainian-built rocket stages, and successfully deployed a French-built, Moroccan-owned military surveillance satellite nearly 400 miles above Earth.

China lofts earthquake research craft with cluster of smaller satellites

February 2, 2018

A Chinese Long March 2D rocket successfully delivered seven satellites into a 300-mile-high orbit Friday, boosting international missions to measure seismic signals that could help predict future earthquakes, take detailed imagery of planet Earth and test compact camera, propulsion and radio technology.

Soyuz carries three station crew members back to Earth

December 14, 2017

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying three space station crew members hurtled back to Earth Thursday, completing a fiery plunge back through the atmosphere before settling to a frigid touchdown on the snowy steppe of Kazakhstan to close out a 139-day mission.

Live coverage: Space station crew back on Earth

December 14, 2017

Outgoing space station commander Randy Bresnik, joined by Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy and European Space Agency flight engineer Paolo Nespoli, returned to Earth early Thursday after nearly five months in orbit. Their Soyuz MS-05 capsule undocked from the International Space Station at 12:14 a.m. EST (0514 GMT), and landed on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 3:37 a.m. EST (0837 GMT).

Space station crew returns Thursday, replacements launch Sunday

December 13, 2017

In a rapid-fire crew rotation, a Russian cosmonaut, a NASA astronaut and an Italian flier plan to close out a 139-day mission aboard the International Space Station with a fiery plunge back to the frigid steppe of Kazakhstan aboard their Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft early Thursday.

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