SpaceX replaces Russia on 2 European launches after Ukraine invasion


The European Space Agency (ESA) has chosen SpaceX to replace Russia’s space agency as the launcher of two of its high-profile missions in the next two years.

The two ESA missions chosen for SpaceX Falcon 9 launches are the dark-matter-hunting Euclid space telescope and the Hera probe, which will follow up on NASA’s successful DART asteroid mission. The launches atop SpaceX rockets will take place in 2023 and 2024, respectively. Both missions were originally planned for launches by Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, aboard Soyuz rockets, but strained relationships in the wake of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine have prompted ESA to look for other launch vendors.


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