While we have been away attending the International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy, there have been three launches. The first was an Ariane 5 ECA which was launched from Kourou in French Guiana at 2118 GMT on Friday 28 September. The launch vehicle was carrying two satellites to go to geostationary transfer orbit. They were the Astra 2F, which is owned by SES, the satellite is to be placed at 28.2 degrees East from where it will be used to conduct direct broadcasting of TV signals to Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The second satellite onboard was the Indian Gsat-10 satellite, built and owned by the Indian Space Research Organisation, the satellite will be used to provide communications services the the sub-continent. The satellite also carries a Gagan payload which will be used to provide augmented navigation services.
The second launch was a Chinese Long March 2D at 0412 GMT on 29 September which carried the Venezuelan Francisco Miranda satellite also known as VRSS-1. This satellite will be used for Earth Observation.
The third launch was a US Delta IVM+4,2 vehicle carrying the third GPS IIF satellite. The launch took place from Cape Canaveral at 1210 GMT on 4 October. The satellite will be placed into the GPS constellation to provide navigation services.
The ATV-03 which had been docked at the International Space Station since 28 March was undocked at 2144 GMT on 28 September and conducted a free flight before being intentionally deorbited over the South Pacific early on 3 October with any surviving debris striking the surface of the Pacific at around 0130 GMT.