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For Upcoming ESA Missions, Rockot To Meet Debris-mitigation Guidelines

For Upcoming ESA Missions, Rockot To Meet Debris-mitigation Guidelines

Eurockot said demand for its Rockot launcher from the Russian government is almost certain to continue through the end of the decade despite occasional statements from Russian officials saying they want to move to a new version of Russia’s Soyuz vehicle, and to the all-new Angara rocket family. Credit: Eurockot photo
Eurockot said demand for its Rockot launcher from the Russian government is almost certain to continue through the end of the decade despite occasional statements from Russian officials saying they want to move to a new version of Russia’s Soyuz vehicle, and to the all-new Angara rocket family. Credit: Eurockot photo

TORONTO — German-Russian commercial launch provider Eurockot on Sept. 30 said it had guaranteed its biggest customer, the European Space Agency, that the three upcoming Eurockot launches will end with the rocket upper stages being placed into an orbit that assures their atmospheric re-entry within 25 years.

The company also said demand for its Rockot launcher, a converted ballistic missile, from the Russian government is almost certain to continue through the end of the decade despite occasional statements from Russian officials saying they want to move to a new version of Russia’s Soyuz vehicle, and to the all-new Angara rocket family.

Bremen, Germany-based Eurockot Launch Services GmbH, a joint venture between Airbus Defence and Space and Russia’s Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, sells the Rockot to mainly government customers in Europe and Asia for Earth observation and science satellite launches.

The company has been criticized in the past for leaving rocket and payload-separation hardware — notably when it launches more than one satellite at a time — in low Earth orbit at altitudes too high to meet the 25-year re-entry  guideline, which is nonbinding but has become an international standard.

Addressing the 65th International Astronautical Congress here, Eurockot Chief Executive York Viertel said the promise to ESA for the Sentinel 3A, Sentinel 2B and Sentinel 5P environmental satellites, which are all in Eurockot’s backlog of orders, does not necessarily extend to missions where the Rockot carries multiple satellites.

 

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October 2, 2014


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