Arianespace has ‘lost contact’ with Ariane 5 rocket

European Space Agency (ESA) shows an Ariane 5 rocket blasting off from the Kourou Space Centre (Europe spaceport) carrying four Galileo satellites in Kourou, French Guiana. (AFP)
Updated 26 January 2018
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Arianespace has ‘lost contact’ with Ariane 5 rocket

KOUROU: Two commercial satellites have been successfully placed in orbit by an Ariane 5 rocket, Arianespace said Thursday, despite mission control briefly losing contact with the craft.
“Both satellites were confirmed separated, acquired and they are on orbit,” Arianespace said in an updated statement after the lift-off from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana.
The European space workhorse blasted off at 7.20 p.m. (2220 GMT) carrying satellites for Luxembourg’s SES and the United Arab Emirate’s Yahsat in the first launch of the year for Arianespace.
Around an hour after the launch, CEO Stephane Israel announced that controllers had “lost contact” with the craft in what he described as an “anomaly.”
In their updated statement the company said a tracking station in Brazil was unable to track the craft shortly after ignition of the rocket’s upper stage.
“This lack of telemetry lasted throughout the rest of powered flight,” the statement said. But both satellites were later “communicating with their respective control centers.”
Since it was founded in 1980, Arianespace has put more than 550 satellites into orbit including for Europe’s Galileo GPS system.
In September the company aborted the launch of an Ariane 5 rocket carrying two commercial satellites in the final countdown as the main engine was being ignited.
An Ariane 5 lift-off was also aborted at main engine ignition in March 2011.


India to send manned mission to space by 2022 — Modi

Updated 15 August 2018
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India to send manned mission to space by 2022 — Modi

NEW DELHI: India will send a manned mission into space by 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Wednesday in a speech to the nation.
“India will send into space — a man or a woman — by 2022, before that if possible,” Modi said in a marathon address at the Red Fort in New Delhi for the country’s Independence Day.
The astronaut would be “carrying the national flag,” Modi said.
The conservative prime minister said that India would be only the fourth country — after Russia, the United States and China — to launch its own manned space mission.
Stepping up its rivalry with China, India has invested heavily in its space program in the past decade.
It is aiming to send an unmanned mission to the moon in January 2019, the Indian Space Research Organization announced last week.
The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter will aim to put a craft with a rover onto the moon’s surface to collect data. Design changes to the craft forced the space body to push the launch back from this year.
Chandrayaan-1, launched in 2008, orbited the moon and sent a probe to the surface which made a controlled crash landing.
India also launched an orbiter to Mars in 2013 which is still operational and in 2017 launched a record 104 satellites in one blast-off.