Launches

By | January 7, 2008 | Satellite News Feed

Progress Cargo Vehicle Launched To Space Station

A Russian Progress space freighter ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Dec. 23 on a supply mission to the International Space Station, Starsem announced.

The unmanned space vehicle entered orbit to reach the space station, marking a dozen Soyuz family missions last year.

A fourth of those missions were conducted by Starsem. Two missions placed Globalstar satellites in orbit, and another put a Radarsat-2 spacecraft into orbit for MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.

Shareholders in Starsem are Arianespace, Astrium, the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Samara Space Center.

Starsem plans to launch from Baikonur the Giove-B satellite for the European Space Agency.

Arianespace Launches Rascom, Horizons Satellites On Ariane 5

Arianespace launched two satellites on the large Ariane 5 lifter, the sixth shot last year with the large rocket.

Lifting off from the European spaceport in French Guiana in South America, the Ariane 5 GS vehicle deployed its Rascom-QAF1 and Horizons-2 satellites during a 32-minute-long flight.

The mission means Arianespace launched 80 percent of the satellites placed in geostationary transfer orbit last year, a new industry record, according to Arianespace.

Rascom-QAF1 was deployed first, being released by the Ariane 5 at 28 minutes into the mission. This is the first pan-African telecommunications satellite, and was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space as part of a turnkey contract with RASCOMSTAR-QAF. The 3,200-kg. satellite’s 12 Ku-band and eight C-band transponders will provide telecommunications, direct TV broadcast and Internet access services during an operating lifetime of 15 years.

That was the third Thales Alenia Space-built satellite launched by Arianespace last year. Horizons-2 was deployed by Ariane 5 approximately 32 minutes after the liftoff.

This 2,300-kg. satellite was produced by U.S.-based Orbital Sciences Corp.[ORB], and is to be operated by the Horizons 2 Satellite LLC joint venture of Intelsat and Japan’s JSAT. Equipped with 20 Ku-band transponders. Horizons-2 will meet the growing demand for telecommunications, HDTV and IP-based content distribution in North America. Its broadcast footprint covers the continental United States, the Caribbean and parts of Canada.

Arianespace has a record backlog of orders for 24 satellites for launch to geostationary orbit with Ariane 5 (and possibly Soyuz for the smaller payloads); 11 institutional launches with Ariane 5 (including nine Automated Transfer Vehicle re-supply spacecraft for the International Space Station); and eight Soyuz launches (two from Baikonur Cosmodrome via Starsem, and six from the Guiana Space Center).

Launch Schedule

2008 Launches

Date: Uncertain

Mission: STS-122

Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Atlantis

Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center – Launch Pad 39A

Description: STS-122 will deliver the Columbus European Laboratory Module and will be the twenty-fourth mission to the International Space Station.

Date: Uncertain

Mission: STS-123

Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Endeavour

Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center – Launch Pad 39A

Launch Time: 11:57 a.m. EST

Description: Mission STS-123 on Space Shuttle Endeavour will deliver the pressurized section of the Kibo Japanese Experiment Logistics Module (ELM-PS) on the twenty-fifth mission to the International Space Station.

Date: April 1 *

Mission: STSS Demo – Missile Defense Agency

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta II

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – Launch Complex 17, Pad A

Description: STSS Demo is a midcourse tracking technology demonstrator and is part of an evolving ballistic missile defense system. STSS is capable of tracking objects after boost phase and provides trajectory information to other sensors and interceptors. To be launched by NASA for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

Date: April 17 *

Mission: STSS ATRR – Missile Defense Agency

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta II

Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base – Launch Pad SLC-2

Description: STSS ATRR serves as a pathfinder for future launch and mission technology for the Missile Defense Agency. To be launched by NASA for the MDA.

Date: April 24 +

Mission: STS-124

Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Discovery

Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center – Launch Pad 39A

Launch Time: 8:26 a.m. EDT

Description: Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-124 will transport the Kibo Japanese Experiment Module – Pressurized Module (JEM-PM) and the Japanese Remote Manipulator System (JEM-RMS) to the International Space Station.

Date: May 16

Mission: GLAST

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta II

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – Launch Complex 17 – Pad 17-B

Description: An heir to its successful predecessor — the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory — the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope will have the ability to detect gamma rays in a range of energies from thousands to hundreds of billions of times more energetic than the light visible to the human eye. Radiation of such magnitude can only be generated under the most extreme conditions, thus GLAST will focus on studying the most energetic objects and phenomena in the universe.

Date: June 15

Mission: OSTM/Jason 2

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta II

Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base – Launch Pad SLC-2

Description: The Ocean Surface Topography Mission on the Jason-2 satellite will be a follow-on to the Jason mission.

Date: June 25 +

Mission: TacSat-3

Launch Vehicle: Orbital Sciences Minotaur Rocket

Launch Site: Wallops Flight Facility – Goddard Space Flight Center

Description: NASA will support the Air Force launch of the TacSat-3 satellite, managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate. TacSat-3 will demonstrate the capability to furnish real-time data to the combatant commander. NASA Ames will fly a microsat and NASA Wallops will fly the CubeSats on this flight in addition to providing the launch range.

Date: July 15

Mission: IBEX

Launch Vehicle: Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL Rocket

Launch Site: Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Atoll

Description: IBEX’s science objective is to discover the global interaction between the solar wind and the interstellar medium and will achieve this objective by taking a set of global energetic neutral atom images that will answer four fundamental science questions.

Date: July 20 *

Mission: GOES-O

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta IV

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – Launch Complex 17

Description: NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are actively engaged in a cooperative program, the multimission Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite series N-P. This series will be a vital contributor to weather, solar and space operations, and science.

Date: Aug. 7 *

Mission: STS-125

Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Atlantis

Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center – Launch Pad 39A

Launch Time: 8:24 a.m. EDT

Description: Space Shuttle Atlantis will fly seven astronauts into space for the fifth and final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. During the 11-day flight, the crew will repair and improve the observatory’s capabilities through 2013.

Date: Sept. 18 +

Mission: STS-126

Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Endeavour

Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center – Launch Pad 39A

Launch Time: 8:08 p.m. EDT

Description: Space Shuttle Endeavour launching on assembly flight ULF2, will deliver a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module to the International Space Station.

Date: Oct. 28

Mission: LRO/LCROSS

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Atlas V

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – Launch Complex 41

Description: The mission objectives of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite are to advance the Vision for Space Exploration by confirming the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at either the Moon’s North or South Pole.

Date: Dec 1 *

Mission: SDO

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Atlas V

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – Launch Complex 41

Description: The first Space Weather Research Network mission in the Living With a Star (LWS) Program of NASA.

Date: Dec 15

Mission: OCO

Launch Vehicle: Orbital Sciences Taurus Rocket

Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base – Launch Pad SLC 576-E

Description: The Orbiting Carbon Observatory is a new Earth orbiting mission sponsored by NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program.

2009 Launches

Date: Feb. 16

Mission: Kepler

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta II

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – Launch Complex 17 – Pad 17-B

Description: The Kepler Mission, a NASA Discovery mission, is specifically designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy to detect and characterize hundreds of Earth- size and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone.

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