News of

July 1998

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center issues a research announcement for Pathfinder vehicles in order to demonstrate advanced space transportation technologies on behalf of the Future-X program.
July 30
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center announces it has completed a series of tests on an air-breathing rocket engine through all operating phases of an orbital launcher on behalf of the Advanced Space Transportation Program.
July 29
Lockheed Martin Astronautics successfully conducts a 10-sec. firing test of a RD-180 engine on a prototype Atlas 3A stage at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center test facilities.
July 29
The first wing assembly of NASA‘s X-34 hypersonic demonstrator has completed qualification tests and has been shipped to prime contractor, Orbital Sciences Corp., for integration on a test fuselage.
July 29
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center exercizes two options on an existing contract with International Launch Services (ILS) for the launches of the TDRS-I and J satellites on Atlas 2A vehicles in December 2001 and June 2002.






European Space Agency
‘s third Ariane 5 launcher has been stacked in Kourou in late June. The Core Cryogenic Stage (EPC) was erected in the Launcher Integration Building (BIL) on June 18 and the second Solid Booster Stage was tranferred to BIL on June 19. EAP/EPC mating was completed on June 24. The launcher was cocooned on June 26. Launch campaign resumption is scheduled on August 18 for a launch targeted in October. (Latest schedule) Photos © ESA/CNES/Arianespace.


July 27
The U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) selects an architecture based on commercial motors provided by Alliant Techsystems and United Technologies for the National Missile Defense’s Ground Based Interceptor.
July 27
Boeing plans to invest $250 million to refurbish Cape Canaveral‘s SLC-37 Saturn 1/1B launch pad for its new Delta 4 launch vehicles.
July 26
Scaled Composites performs the first test flight of its Proteus high altitude aircraft which is proposed as carrier aircarft for a small air-launched space kaunch vehicle.
July 23
Kistler Aerospace incorporates Spaceport Woomera, a wholly owned subsidiary in charge of building a commercial spaceport for its K-1 reusable launch vehicles within Australia’s Woomera Rocket Range, Southern Australia.
July 23
Bechtel National Inc. was awarded a $27 million contract by U.S. Defense Special Weapons Agency to destroy 46 RS-22 (SS-24 "Scalpel") ICBM silos and 5 control centers in Ukraine.





‘s first Delta 3 vehicle sits on its launch pad at Cape Canaveral‘s SLC-17B awaiting clearance for first flight. The vehicle was stacked in early June for a launch due in July. Failed tests on pyrotechnic components have caused the launch to slip twice. (Latest schedule) Photos © Boeing.


July 22
The maiden flight of Sea Launch‘s Zenit 3SL has been postponed to the first quarter of 1999 to allow modifications of its payload, Panamsat‘s Galaxy 11.
July 21
NASDA successfully conducts the first of three ground firing tests of the SRB-A strap-on booster under development for the H-2A launcher.
July 21
Iran conducts the first test-flight of its Shahab 3 missile, a local version of North Korea’s No Dong 2 MRBM. The 1,300/1,500-km range missile was destroyed about 100 seconds into flight.
July 21
Scaled Composites has begun the manufacturing of structural parts of the Roton reusable launch vehicle on behalf of Rotary Rocket Co.

 For additional information regarding launch vehicles, payloads and space industry, refer to
 A biweekly newsletter jointly published by
 Launchspace Publications and Takyon International.

July 20
Boeing Rocketdyne has contracted with Praxair for the delivery of cryogenic propellant, liquid nitrogen and gaseous helium to support ground testing of the Delta 4’s RS-68 main engine.
July 19
Pakistan announces it has completed assembly of its Abdali IRBM, possibly a local version of a North Korean missile.
July 16
Arianespace has awarded a contract to Kayser-Threde for the development of MaqSat 3, a dummy satellite to be flown on Ariane 5’s third qualification flight on October 13.
July 13
Sea Launch‘s Assembly & Command Ship (ACS) arrives at the company’s Homeport in Long Beach, Calif. after a 31-day journey from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. It carries two Zenit 3SL vehicles.
July 13
Arianespace unveils an agreement signed in April with Antrix Corp., the commercial arm of the Indian Space Resarch Organisation, for the joint marketing of piggyback launches on Ariane 5 and PSLV launchers.


 For up-to-date information regarding launch vehicles, payloads and space industry, refer to
 An on-line news service provided by
 Launchspace Publications and Takyon International.

July 10
Ukraine’s Zenit 2 successfully returns to flight more than one year after its latest failure on May 27, 1997. Payload includes Russia’s Resurs O1-N4 remote sensing satellite and five microsatellites.
(July Launch LogZenit Launch Log)
July 10
U.S. Air Force’s Space & Missile Systems Center awards a contract to Boeing Expendable Launch Systems for the launch of the TRW-built GeoLITE satellite on a Delta 2/7925 vehicle in early 2001 on behalf of the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.
July 9
India’s Minister of Defence unveils a project of military air-breathing single-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle demonstrator, the Aerobic Vehicle for Advanced Trans-Atmospheric Research (Avatar).
July 7
GRTsKB Makeyev successfully conducts the first orbital launch ever from a submarine with a Shtil 1N vehicle (modified SSN-23 missile) carrying two German Tubsat N nanosatellites.
(July Launch LogShtil Launch Log)

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