Like Superman: ESA's IXV Spaceplane Makes Successful Research Flight

AND IT’S OFF: A Vega launch vehicle lofts ESA’s IXV spaceplane to its suborbital mission. Photo Credit: ESA–S. Corvaja

It wasn’t Superman, but a spaceplane; however, it sure appeared to travel “faster than a speeding bullet,” as it cleared the pad in four seconds.

At 13:40 GMT (8:40 EST) today, the flight of the […]

'Ready to Fly': Europe's IXV Spaceplane Geared Up for Feb. 11 Launch

Fueling IXV: “The IXV Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle is being prepared for launch at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. IXV will be launched 320 km into space on top of a Vega rocket, climbing up to 420 km before beginning a long glide back through the atmosphere. In the process, IXV will gather data […]

Arianespace Ready to Launch Ninth Mission of 2014 on Thursday, 16 October

Mission VA-220 will be powered uphill by the Vulcain-2 engine of the cryotechnic main stage and twin side-mounted solid-fuelled rocket boosters. Photo Credit: ESA – CNES Arianespace Optique video du CSG JM Guillon

For the fifth time in 2014, Arianespace is readying one of its mammoth Ariane 5 boosters to deliver a heavyweight payload […]

Ariane 5 Set to Launch Long-Delayed Measat-3B and Optus-10 Mission on Thursday

The ogive-shaped payload fairing is lowered over the Measat-3B satellite in readiness for Mission VA-218. Photo Credit: Arianespace

For the fourth time in 2014, Arianespace is readying one of its mammoth Ariane 5 boosters to deliver a heavyweight payload into orbit. After numerous delays, Mission VA-218—the 75th flight by an Ariane 5 and the […]

The Next Giant Leap for ESA: Rosetta Team Determining Possible Landing Sites for Philae

From the European Space Agency (ESA): “Artist’s impression of Rosetta’s lander Philae (front view) on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Philae will be deployed to the comet in November 2014 where it will make in situ observations of the comet surface, including drilling 23cm into the subsurface to extract material for analysis in its […]

Arianespace Launches First Pair of Fully Operational Galileo Satellites—ANOMALY UPDATE

Derived from a vehicle which has accomplished more than 1,800 launches since the mid-1960s, the Soyuz vehicle is one of the world’s most reliable rockets. Photo Credit: Arianespace

Following a 24-hour postponement, caused by poor weather conditions in the vicinity of the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, Arianespace has launched its ninth […]

Europe's Answer to GPS: Galileo Program Set for Full Operational Capability With Thursday Launch of Doresa and Milena

Attached to their Swedish-built payload dispenser, the Galileo FOC-1 twins are prepared for launch. Photo Credit: Arianespace

Less than three years since it became the first non-Russian organization to deliver a Soyuz booster into orbit from a location outside the borders of Russia or the former Soviet Union, Arianespace—the Paris, France-headquartered provider of commercial […]

'Nothing So Hidden': ESA's Rosetta Meets Its Target Comet After Decade-Long Journey

From the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Facebook page: “Taken by Rosetta and downloaded today, 6 August. The image shows the comet’s ‘head’ at the left of the frame, which is casting shadow onto the ‘neck’ and ‘body’ to the right. Taken from a distance of 120 km with a resolution is 2.2 m per […]

Finishing the Marathon: Rosetta Approaches Target Comet, Set for August 6 Orbital Insertion

From the European Space Agency (ESA): “The nucleus of Rosetta’s target comet seen from a distance of 1950 km on 29 July 2014. One pixel corresponds to about 37 m in this narrow-angle camera view. The bright neck between the two lobes of the nucleus is becoming more and more distinct.” Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS […]

Europe's Ariane 5 Successfully Launches Final ATV Cargo Ship to Space Station

The Ariane 5 turns night into day with a dazzling liftoff at 8:47:46 p.m. GFT (7:47:46 p.m. EDT) on Tuesday, 29 July. Photo Credit: Arianespace

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) is presently en-route to the International Space Station (ISS), following a rousing launch atop a mighty Ariane […]