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Eumetsat shifts two tardy satellites to Ariane 6 – SpaceNews

Program delays have forced Eumetsat to reserve a pair of Ariane 6 rockets for two European weather satellites originally anticipated to launch on Ariane 5 rockets.

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WASHINGTON Program delays have forced Eumetsat to reserve a pair of Ariane 6 rockets for two European weather satellites originally anticipated to launch on Ariane 5 rockets. 
Eumetsat had signed a contract with Arianespace in 2015 to launch two or three Meteosat Third Generation satellites on Ariane 5 rockets between 2019 and 2023. Of those satellites, only one, MTG-I1, will be completed before Arianespace switches completely to Ariane 6 rockets. 
MTG-I1, an imaging satellite, will launch on an Ariane 5 rocket in 2022, the last year Ariane 5 will be available, Paul Counet, Eumetsats head of strategy, communication and international relations, told SpaceNews by email July 6. 
The sounding satellite MTG-S1, for which Eumetsat had a firm Ariane 5 launch contract, is now scheduled to launch in 2023 on an Ariane 6, Eumetsat announced July 2. The third satellite, MTG-I2, for which Eumetsat had an Ariane 5 contract option, will now launch on an Ariane 6 in 2025, the agency said. 
Counet said the switch for both satellites was triggered by the unavailability of Ariane 5 after 2022.
Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy is building the MTG satellites using platforms from German manufacturer OHB. The companies are building six MTG satellites in total four imagers and two sounders with half launching in the 2020s and the other half launching in the 2030s. 
A Thales Alenia Space spokesperson said new technological challenges discovered this year with the instruments for the first two MTG satellites, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, delayed those satellites and had a knock-on effect on the third satellite. 
OHB Head of Investor Relations Martina Lilienthal declined to comment on the cause of the MTG manufacturing delays. The MTG satellites are based on OHBs SmallGEO bus, which has experienced delays with early builds. 
Counet said Eumetsat plans to launch all three satellites with a co-passenger satellite, though discussions are ongoing about using the Ariane 62, the lighter version of Ariane 6 with two strap-on boosters, for the MTG-I2 satellite, which would likely make it a standalone mission. 
MTG-S1 will launch on an Ariane 64, the more powerful version equipped with four solid rocket boosters, he said.

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Rare “boomerang” earthquake detected under the Atlantic Ocean for the first time – CBS News

“This was completely opposite to how we expected the earthquake to look before we started to analyze the data,” one scientist said.

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For years, scientists have been attempting to track an extremely rare “boomerang” earthquake. Now, they’ve recorded one in the ocean for the first time — and it’s even more bizarre than they expected. 
Earthquakes are the result of rocks breaking on a fault, which is a boundary between two plates. A “boomerang” earthquake, also known as a “back-propagating supershear rupture,” means the fracture travels away from the initial crack before returning to it at even faster speeds, scientists said. 

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Laser beams reflected between Earth and moon boost science – Phys.org

Dozens of times over the last decade NASA scientists have launched laser beams at a reflector the size of a paperback novel about 240,000 miles (385,000 kilometers) away from Earth. They announced today, in collaboration with their French colleagues, that the…

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Dozens of times over the last decade NASA scientists have launched laser beams at a reflector the size of a paperback novel about 240,000 miles (385,000 kilometers) away from Earth. They announced today, in collaboration with their French colleagues, that they received signal back for the first time, an encouraging result that could enhance laser experiments used to study the physics of the universe.
The reflector NASA scientists aimed for is mounted on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a…

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Starlink: SpaceX’s 100th mission may break an incredible reusability record – Inverse

SpaceX’s upcoming launch could raise the bar for reusing rockets.

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SpaceX may be about to take another step in its plan to reuse space rockets.
The company is expected to send up its 11th batch of Starlink satellites in mid-August, sending up 58 craft from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The mission is also expected to send up three SkySat imagine satellites for Planet as part of a ride-sharing agreement, after the company previously hitched a ride in a Starlink mission in June. The extra satellites will be used to h…

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