PSLV Launch with 104 Payloads Opens New Opportunities for Small Satellites

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

PSLV-C37 with 104 payloads. Source: Indian Space Research Organisation

On the morning of February 15, 2017, ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (designated PSLV-C37) launched the 714-kilogram Cartosat-2 Series Satellite and 103 co-passenger satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. The launch – which marked the 38th consecutively successful PSLV mission out of 39 flights – was one for the record books.

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With Successful Rocket Motor Test, Long March 5 May Be Back on Track

By Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Long March 5 (CZ-5) model

Long March 5 (CZ-5) model

China has conducted a ground test of the Long March 5 (CZ-5) power system. The engines were fired for the final ground test before the first launch, expected next year. According to China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry, the test was a success.[i] Specifically, China tested the YF-75D cryogenic engine, which will be used in the second stage of the Long March 5B variant.[ii] Continue reading

ESA Awards Contractors $3.8 Billion for Launch Vehicle Development Work

By Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

The European Space Agency on August 12 signed contracts for the development of a new launch vehicle designated Ariane 6, its launch base, and an upgraded version of the Vega called the Vega C.

The contracts, signed at ESA’s Paris head office with Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL), France’s CNES space agency, and ELV, respectively, cover all development work on Ariane 6 and its launch base for a maiden flight in 2020, and on Vega C for its 2018 debut.[i]

Ariane 6

Ariane 6

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Launch Vehicle Market Still Held by Major Powers, but New Contenders Emerge

by Bill Ostrove, Forecast International.

Launches by Manufacturer Country

Launches by Manufacturer Country

The launch vehicle market continues to be dominated by a few select regions. Between 2011 and 2013, Russia, China, the United States, and Europe accounted for nearly 92 percent of all launch vehicles manufactured. Russia by far accounted for the largest proportion of launch vehicles built during the period, with 41.5 percent. Russia was followed by China with 21.6 percent, the U.S. with 20.8 percent, and Europe with 7.9 percent.

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