The last ten Ariane 5 rockets have now been formally ordered from ArianeGroup – the joint firm formerly known as Airbus Safran launchers. This leaves 23 Ariane 5 launchers in production or to be produced, from the PB+ and PC batches which will be marketed by Arianespace – the marketing arm of ArianeGroup. The 10 launch vehicles covered by this “PC batch” will be deployed from the Guiana Space Center beginning in 2020, coming after the launches of 18 Ariane 5s ordered in 2013 (in the “PB+ batch”). The order’s size is aligned with the ramp-up for the next-generation Ariane 6, which is scheduled to make its first flight in mid-2020, reaching full capacity in 2023.
- H-IIA launches Japanese data relay satellite JDRS-1
- Falcon 9 launches another 60 Starlink satellites while reusable first stage lands for 7th time
- Telesat to merge with long-time majority owner Loral to form a new publicly-traded company
- Omnispace signs for delivery to orbit of its two satellites with Exolaunch as Spaceflight gets Orbit Fab mini-space tanker flight order
- China launches Chang’e 5 sample return mission to Moon…and it looks like a practice run for human trip
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