Orbital Payload Launch

European Payload Launches

ESA Sending Heroic, Fictional Sheep Aboard Artemis I

Shaun the SheepShaun the Sheep

NASA says its Artemis I flight set to launch as soon as late August will be an uncrewed lunar fly-by. The Paris-based European Space Agency would beg to differ. Shaun is leaving the happy confines of Mossy Bottom Farm to lead the flight around the Moon, an agency press release announced.

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2016 – Europe Payload Launch – Snapshot

European launch activities in ### efforts, with the European Space Agency (ESA) conducting ## launch attempts. The European share of global orbital launches ## 2015 at ##%. All 2016 orbital space launch vehicle (SLV) launches were conducted from Europe’s only orbital spaceport, located…

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2015 – Europe Launch, Payload

Europe’s share of global orbital launches grew by 1% in 2015—from nearly 12% in 2014 to nearly 13% in 2015—although the number of launches conducted by the European coalition remained the same. The one European orbital spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, conducted all 11 orbital SLV launches in 2015.

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2014 – Europe Launch, Payload

Europe conducted ## orbital launch attempts in 2014, all of which were successful. Europe’s Ariane 5 heavy-lift vehicle carried most of the payloads, which deployed positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) satellites as well as the fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), Georges Lemaitre, carrying cargo and fuel to the ISS.

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2013 – Europe Launch, Payload

Europe conducted ## orbital launches in 2013, all of which were successful. The majority of these flights were made by Europe’s Ariane 5 heavy-lift vehicle, which deployed communication satellites as well as the fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) carrying cargo and fuel to the ISS.

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2012 – Europe Launch, Payload

Europe operates a three-member family of launch vehicles from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. The newest and smallest member of this family, Vega, carried out its inaugural launch in February 2012, placing several small scientific and technology demonstration satellites into orbit.

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2011 – European Launch Efforts – Snapshot

Europe made progress in 2011 toward expanding its range of launch options. Europe conducted ## launches of its workhorse Ariane 5 rocket. ## of those were standard dual-payload commercial launches, each lifting two communications satellites into orbit for commercial clients. The first Ariane 5 launch of 2011, conducted in February, was the exception and placed an Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) into orbit to rendezvous and dock with the ISS.

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2010 – Europe Launch Efforts – Snapshot

In 2010, Europe launched ## rockets, as compared to ## in 2009. Although a higher launch rate was planned, along with the debut of the Russian-built Soyuz from the European launch complex in Kourou, French Guiana, the European launch industry experienced a series of setbacks which kept it from meeting these goals.

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2009 – Europe Launch and Payload – Snapshot

Europe’s space launch capability is managed by ESA via France-based Arianespace, a public-private consortium of 23 shareholders and ten European nations. European launches are conducted using facilities located at Kourou in French Guiana. While this site has seen a progression of rockets lift off from its pads, in recent years only the Ariane 5 launched from Kourou. 

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