The European Space Agency selects American SpaceX for two missions

Les sondes européennes Euclid et Hera seront toutes deux lancées par le Falcon 9 de Space X.

Posted October 20, 2022 4:49 PMUpdated on October 20, 2022, 4:55 PM

Europe is finally returning to Space X to launch its next space missions. The Russian Soyuz launchers were lost and countered Ariane 6 test delay The European Space Agency (ESA) plans to launch two scientific missions with the Falcon 9 rocket from the American company, its director general announced.

The European probes Euclid and Hera will both be launched by Falcon 9, designed by Elon Musk’s company, Joseph Aschbacher indicated during a press conference at the end of the ESA Council. Originally planned to launch from Kourou on a Soyuz rocket, it will study the expansion of the universe after liftoff in 2023. Meanwhile, Hera is due to launch towards the asteroid recently diverted by NASA at the end of 2024. Spear .

Temporary action

“This is a temporary measure we are taking while we await the interruption of Soyuz firings and the ramp-up of Ariane 6,” whose first flight has been delayed to the last quarter of 2023, said ESA’s general manager. .

In February, the Russian invasion of Ukraine cut off all European cooperation with Russia Kourou, the unique European spaceport , in French Guiana, Soyuz launches. In addition to ESA aircraft, other European aircraft were also ordered on the Russian rocket. Among them, the launch of four satellites of the Galileo navigation constellation and the launch of the CSO-3 military surveillance satellite designed for the French military. In September, ESA pledged to do everything possible to transition to Ariane 6 as soon as possible.

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New launcher project Ariadne 6 After Ariane 5, it was launched in 2014 with the aim of carrying out missions previously carried out by the Russian Soyuz rocket. Initially planned for 2020, then 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and development issues, the first Ariane 6 flight was pushed back. Postponed to last quarter of 2023.

With AFP

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