A satellite meant to host NASA’s new mission to better understand space weather may have been lost, according to SpaceFlightNow. Though the European Ariane 5 rocket lifted off on time, none of the customers with satellites on the rocket have contact with their satellites.
There was an “anomaly” on the launch, said Arianespace chief executive Stephane Israel, according to SpaceFlightNow. Everything was normal until a few seconds after the ignition of the second stage. At that point, no one was in contact with the rocket. Whatever occurred seems to have transpired then, and no one yet knows if the satellites were deployed. Arianespace needs more time to determine what happened.
Arianespace, the maker of the rocket, is also scheduled to launch the James Webb Telescope in 2019. If something went wrong with this mission, that may mean a delay for the new space telescope.
The rocket today was carrying an instrument called GOLD, hosted by SES-14, a satellite controlled by Luxembourg-based operator SES. It was the first NASA mission that consisted of an instrument that lived on a commercial satellite.