July 31, 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.

Arianespace targets early 2021 for Vega return-to-flight

December 18, 2020

Presenting the results of an inquiry into a European Vega rocket failure last month, officials said Friday that misleading instructions and inadequate preflight checks caused teams to overlook wrongly-installed cables on the launcher’s upper stage steering system. Arianespace aims to resume Vega launches before the end of March.

Arianespace traces cause of Vega launch failure to ‘human error’

November 17, 2020

Inverted cables on the Vega rocket’s upper stage control system apparently caused the launcher to tumble minutes after liftoff Monday night, a failure that resulted in the loss of a Spanish Earth observation satellite and a French research probe, Arianespace officials said Tuesday.

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.

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