Space

SpaceX to Launch Europe’s Next Deep Space Telescope, First Asteroid Orbiter

By Aazam

October 27, 2022

The European Satellite Agency was "exploring options" to launch the Euclid near-infrared space observatory on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, a NASA official told the Astrophysics Advisory Committee

ESA head Josef Aschbacher stated three days later that SpaceX would launch the Euclid telescope and Hera, a multi-spacecraft mission to a near-Earth asteroid

ESA and the EU couldn't stop SpaceX from becoming a worldwide launch industry leader

ESA, EU, and Ariane officials denied SpaceX's market share until the late 2010s

ESA and Arianespace ignored SpaceX's relentless pursuit of inexpensive launches using reusable rockets while constructing a rocket to replace the Ariane 5

Ariane 6, a fully expendable successor, was developed by European stakeholders by tweaking the Ariane 5 recipe

They also ended Europeanized Soyuz launches and left many cooperative missions in limbo by withdrawing from all cooperation with ESA and Arianespace

The telescope's launch from Arianespace to SpaceX was expected since Euclid was orphaned by a Russian rocket

After the two-stage version's current delay, Hera's odds of missing its 17-day October 2024 window would have grown if it had persisted with the first three-stage Ariane 6

Like DART, SpaceX will launch Hera on a Falcon 9 rocket in October 2024