Autor Wątek: [SN] Arianespace Vega launch fails, Emirati satellite lost  (Przeczytany 148 razy)

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Arianespace Vega launch fails, Emirati satellite lost
by Caleb Henry — July 10, 2019, Updated July 11 at 2:48 p.m. Eastern with additional information from ESA, Arianespace, CNES and Avio.

Vega left its intended launch course at the beginning of its second-stage firing. Arianespace declared mission loss. Credit: Arianespace webcast.

WASHINGTON — The fifteenth launch of a European Vega rocket ended in failure July 10, resulting in the loss of an imaging satellite for the United Arab Emirates.

The Vega rocket, built by Italian manufacturer Avio, lifted off at 9:53 p.m. Eastern from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on the northern coast of South America.

Telemetry data indicated a deviation from the rocket’s intended course around its second minute of flight. The rocket left its intended course during its second-stage burn.

Telemetry data showed Vega off-course minutes before Arianespace confirmed mission failure. Credit: Arianespace webcast.

Arianespace of Evry, France, which markets the Vega rocket, confirmed mission failure nine minutes after liftoff.

“About 2 minutes after liftoff, around the [Zefiro]-23 ignition, a major anomaly occurred, resulting in the loss of the mission,” Luce Fabreguettes, Arianespace’s executive vice president of missions, operations and purchasing, said during the launch webcast. “On behalf of Arianespace, I wish to express my deepest apologies to our customers for the loss of their payload.”

The failure is the first for Vega, a light-lift vehicle designed to launch around 1,500 kilograms to low Earth orbit. The four-stage launcher has been in service in 2012, and is Arianespace’s newest rocket.

Falcon Eye 1 was a 1,200-kilogram, dual-purpose satellite designed to provide imagery for the commercial market as well as the UAE Armed Forces. Built by Airbus Defence and Space with an imaging payload from Thales Alenia Space, the satellite draws on technology from France’s high-resolution Pleiades imaging constellation.

From its targeted 611-kilometer orbit, Falcon Eye 1 was intended to image the Earth in high resolution as it orbited 15 times a day.

A second satellite, Falcon Eye 2, was scheduled to launch on another Vega rocket late this year, though that timeline is now likely to change.

Arianespace had planned four Vega launches this year. The first took place March 21 with the Italian Space Agency’s PRISMA satellite. The next planned after Falcon Eye 1 was the Small Spacecraft Mission Service rideshare, previously slated for September, carrying 42 satellites.

On July 11, the European Space Agency and Arianespace said they formed an independent inquiry commission to investigate the cause of the failure.

Avio CEO Giulio Ranzo, in a video message posted after the launch failure, said his company and the French Space Agency CNES are also part of the inquiry commission.

CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall said in a statement that the failure “reminds us once more that we are in a tough business and that the line between success and failure is a very fine one indeed.”

“The failure is all the more unexpected, coming as it does after a run of 14 straight successes that had proved the maturity of the Vega launch system,” Le Gall said. “Our teams shall now be getting straight down to work to analyse, understand and fix the causes of the failure so that Europe can return to flight with Vega as quickly as possible.”

Arianespace said preparations for its next mission, a launch of the heavy-lift Ariane 5 rocket carrying the Intelsat-39 and EDRS-C satellites remain underway. Arianespace said previously that the Ariane 5 mission was planned for July 24. The Ariane 5 mission will be Arianespace’s seventh mission of the year, counting the failed Vega mission.

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Odp: [SN] Arianespace Vega launch fails, Emirati satellite lost
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Sierpień 16, 2019, 06:16 »
Space insurer Swiss Re leaves market
by Caleb Henry — August 1, 2019 [SN]

Swiss Re said it is reducing its exposure to space and aerospace. Credit: Swiss Re/Leonardo Finotti

WASHINGTON — Swiss Re, the world’s second largest reinsurance company, informed clients and brokers July 31 that it has stopped insuring satellites and launches.

Jan Schmidt, the head of Swiss Re’s space underwriting division, said in an email obtained by SpaceNews that the decision to “cease Space underwriting with immediate effect” was driven by “bad results of recent years and unsustainable premium rates.”

Schmidt emailed clients and brokers the same day Swiss Re board member Andreas Berger told Reuters the company is reducing its space exposure as part of a broader effort to stem losses in its corporate insurance divisions.

Swiss Re’s decision to stop underwriting new space policies follows the destruction of the Emirati imaging satellite Falcon Eye 1 during a July 10 Vega launch failure, costing insurers an estimated 369 million euros ($407 million).

Insurers were already stomaching a $183 million payout to Maxar Technologies for the failure of its WorldView-4 imaging satellite in January.

Another launch or satellite failure could drive even more insurers out of the space market, according to Richard Parker, divisional president of Assure Space.

The space insurance market is already facing perfect storm conditions, he said — an oversupply of insurers, a dearth of geostationary satellite orders, and declining prices for satellites and launches.

The space industry had a third failure when Intelsat-29e stopped functioning in April, but the satellite was not insured. Parker said another loss of an insured asset could cause insurance prices to rise even more than they have from the WorldView-4 and Falcon Eye 1 failures.

In a July 31 financial report, Swiss Re said it had taken actions to “Significantly reduce General Aviation & Space exposure.” The company generated $953 million in revenue for the first half of the year, down $53 million compared to the first six months of 2018.

SpaceNews Editor in Chief Brian Berger contributed to this story from Washington.