Set for launch

There’s a few launch dates bandying around at the moment.

Ariane 5 flight V195 will be launching tonight from ArianeSpace, ESA’s new spaceport. The rocket will be carrying ArabSat 5A, which will relay TV, internet, business services and radio as part of a network that serves over 100 countries, and South Korea’s COMS satellite, which does Earth observations of weather and the ocean as well as carrying an experimental Ka band communications setup. The launch window will open at 22:41 BST and close at 23:45. The launch will be broadcast on the Arianespace website.

Earth observations of the sort the South Korean satellite will be looking at are the subject of ESA’s Living Planet Symposium, which will see 1,200 researchers descend upon Bergen, Norway for chat and donuts from the 28th of June until the 2nd of July. Further information and on the day blogging can/will be found here.

The launch dates for the final two scheduled space shuttle missions to the International Space Station have been pushed back. The final flight of Discovery, STS-133, will now happen on October 29th. The final flight of Endeavour, STS-134, the last scheduled shuttle mission, is now pencilled in for the 28th of February 2011. No final word has yet been given on whether Atlantis, which will be acting as the rescue vehicle for Endeavour, will be sent up for a reduced mission with Soyuz support. That decision is expected in August, while confirmation of these new launch dates is expected on the 1st of July.

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