Arianespace’s third Ariane 5 launch of the year was set liftoff Friday from Kourou, French Guiana, but an issue with a sensor on the rocket’s first stage liquid hydrogen tank caused officials to scrub the launch attempt. The Ariane 5 is poised to carry three U.S.-built commercial satellites into orbit, while testing a few rocket upgrades, including a modified fairing needed for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope next year.
The launch of a Japanese H-2A rocket with the Emirates Mars Mission, a Mars orbiter developed in partnership between Emirati and U.S. scientists, was delayed Tuesday due to poor weather at the H-2A’s launch site on Tanegashima Island in southern Japan. Officials later announced that liftoff would not occur Thursday, again citing bad weather at the launch site. A new launch attempt is scheduled for Sunday, weather permitting.
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.