Busy time for Italy as Cosmo-Skymed launches are ordered and exploration opportunities gathered

by | Apr 6, 2017 | commercial launch services, Launches, Satellites, Seradata News

The next generation of Cosmo-Skymed commercial radar satellites will both be launched by Arianespace; the first on a Soyuz in 2018, followed by the second in 2020 using a upcoming Vega-C rocket. Both of these launches will take place from French Guiana. The launch contract was signed by the Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), with Arianespace in early April.

The first Soyuz-launched Cosmo-Skymed mission will also host the ESA (European Space Agency) CHEOPS spacecraft. CHEOPS is a ESA-Swiss venture in the form of a small, high-precision telescope designed to provide further information on exoplanets.

The agency had been considering contracting with US launch provider SpaceX for the launch of one or both Cosmo-Skymed satellites. In the end SpaceX lost out to Arianespace, but did not leave empty handed. It received an agreement for a back-up launch service should there be any issue with getting the first satellite launched on time.

 

Illustration showing Soyuz ST-B. Courtesy: Arianespace

 

ASI, also signed an agreement with SpaceX for the “opportunity for payload transportation to Mars”, most likely in the form of a payload on-board a future Red Dragon mission. This is coupled with the recent signing of an agreement between Italy and China for the framework to future long-term cooperation in the field of manned space exploration.

Matthew Wilson contributed to this article

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

Soyuz ST-A/Fregat M launches five spacecraft including CHEOPS planet hunter and a Cosmo-Skymed Second Generation imaging sat

At 0854 GMT on 18 December, the launch took place of a Russian-build Soyuz ST-A/Fregat M launch vehicle. The launch Read more

SpaceX launches 52 Starlink Group 4-26 satellites

After a slight delay due to upper-level winds in the vicinity of the launch site, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 successfully launched Read more

China launches 16 EO sats on a Long March 6 rocket

China launched a Long March 6 (CZ-6) rocket at 0450 GMT on 10 August from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. Read more

Launch on 9 August: a Ceres-1 rocket flies successfully again on third flight

Galactic Energy of China launched the third Ceres-1 (aka Gushenxing-1) solid rocket four-stage launch vehicle successfully with its lift off Read more

Firefly to help build Antares 330 stage after Russian engine supply halted

Northrop Grumman Corporation and launch vehicle manufacturer Firefly Aerospace have joined forces to provide an American-built first-stage upgrade for the Read more

On a sadder note: Goodbye Lieutenant Uhura

Nichelle Nichols, the actress who played Lt Nyota Uhura, communications officer to the USS Enterprise, in the Star Trek science Read more

India’s quick response SSLV small launch vehicle fails on first mission

The maiden flight of India's latest rocket, the SSLV, has gone wrong. After an apparent successful launch from the Satish Read more

China launches carbon monitoring environmental satellite

China successfully launched a Long March 4B (CZ-4B) rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center at 0308 GMT on 4 Read more

Categories

Archives