Views from an airliner, close-up high-speed launch pad cameras, and photographers around the Guiana Space Center in the jungle of South America show the twilight launch of a European Ariane 5 rocket Saturday with three commercial satellites heading for orbits more than 22,000 miles over the equator.
Another set of Starlink Internet satellites launched Tuesday from Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Powered by a reusable first stage booster making its sixth flight, the Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 10:31 a.m. EDT (1431 GMT). Three SkySat Earth-imaging satellites for Planet accompanied SpaceX’s 58 Starlink relay stations into orbit.
The last planned batch of high-resolution SkySat commercial Earth-viewing reconnaissance satellites owned by Planet will accompany 58 Starlink broadband relay stations on a climb into orbit Tuesday from Cape Canaveral on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, adding to the world’s two largest commercial satellite fleets.
An Ariane 5 rocket delivered a robotic space tug and a pair of commercial communications satellites into orbit Saturday following a fiery blastoff from French Guiana, debuting new upgrades in Arianespace’s first mission since temporarily suspending launch operations earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Two weeks after a sensor problem forced a delay, an Ariane 5 rocket blasted off at 6:04 p.m. EDT (2204 GMT) Saturday from French Guiana with two commercial communications satellites to cover the United States and Japan, and a Northrop Grumman-built robotic satellite servicing mission designed to link up with another spacecraft in geostationary orbit.
Loaded with three commercial satellites, a European Ariane 5 rocket returned to its launch pad in French Guiana Thursday after a two-week launch delay to resolve a technical issue that forced an abort to a countdown July 31. Arianespace says the mission has been rescheduled for launch Saturday due to unfavorable upper level winds in the forecast for Friday.
Arianespace is returning an Ariane 5 rocket — loaded with three U.S.-built satellites — back to its final assembly building in French Guiana to replace a suspect sensor on the vehicle that prompted officials to cancel a launch attempt Friday. Arianespace said Monday that the swap will delay the launch until around Aug. 14.