Today: SpaceX and Arianespace Will Launch Rockets to Orbit Almost At the Same Time


Today is quite a busy day for SpaceX and Arianespace. They will both launch their rockets at almost the same time.

The European rocket maker, Arianespace will fly four satellites into space from French Guyana at 7:25 am ET, and Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, will launch ten satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base (California) at 7:39 am ET.

While launching rockets can also imply delays, we might be lucky enough to watch two rocket launches in just 15 minutes.

Both Arianespace and SpaceX have a live video feed on YouTube. The first one will start at 7:00 am ET, while the latter will go live at almost 7:24 am ET.

Arianespace is at the 99th flight of its Ariane 5 rocket which will today carry four Galileo satellites – part of the space guidance of Europe and its synchronization system.

SpaceX has a bigger load: 10 satellites for Iridium to replace all the communications satellites with new ones. Seven minutes after the launch, SpaceX will also land the Falcon 9 booster rocket in the Pacific, on a drone-ship.

What’s fun is that Iridium also made a Spotify playlist to match the launch of its satellites. It lasts for one hour and a half, and it should synchronize with the launch. We have just opened the playlist, and just looking at the song titles, we can say that never has a rocket launch sounded more awesome!

The Competition

These launches from today are from the biggest competitors in space technology. Arianespace is a European company that gets most of its finances from France, while Elon Musk’s SpaceX is the start-up that threatens the European conglomerate with the low-cost reusable rockets that offer many launches into space.

The European space officials admired SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy when they saw it flying earlier this year.

At the moment, Ariane also has a new version of their rocket under development, but we’ll have to see how it competes with SpaceX. Moreover, in 2022, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin will have a rocket that will compete with both SpaceX’s and Ariane’s rockets.

Nonetheless, Arianespace’s chairman wants to make sure Musk knows that, in the rocket business, “Europe will be there.”


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