Arianespace is looking at adding another flight to its 2017 planned manifest, and in order to take up some of the delays caused by the recent problems at SpaceX and Russia’s Proton launch system.
This year Arianespace is planning to launch 7 times, one less than originally anticipated. The ‘missing’ launch was that of Japan’s Superbird-8 satellite and which suffered damage en route to the launch site.
Reportedly Arianespace hopes to catch up on the 2016 planned launch schedule, and additionally add an eighth flight provided an ‘upper berth’ satellite can be sourced as seeking a launch.
SpaceX suffered a catastrophic explosion on September 1st which resulted in the loss of the Amos-6 satellite, while Proton launches have been suspended following a launch problem back in June.
Both SpaceX and Proton could be out of commission until around November this year, and could result in delays for a wide portfolio of contracted customers.