July 28, 2017

Next Vega mission to orbit. VENUS and OPTSAT-3000 satellites

Tuesday 1 August, Vega will lift off from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana carrying the VENµS and OPTSAT-3000 satellites. The launch, conducted on behalf of CNES and the Israel Space Agency (ISA), and the Italian Ministry of Defence, will be the eighth this year from the Guiana Space Centre and will mark the tenth flight of Vega, which will be orbiting its seventh Earth-observing satellite.

As climate concerns become ever more pressing, CNES is continuing to conceive new tools for observing climate change. Developed jointly with the Israel Space Agency (ISA), the VENUS vegetation-monitoring satellite is at the cutting edge of innovation and set to make a major contribution to environmental research.

Thanks to its multispectral high spatial resolution (five metres) and high revisit capability (every two days) covering 110 sites of scientific interest for monitoring vegetation around the globe, VENUS will yield a rich harvest of data not only for scientists but also for the entire international space community. For CNES and ISA, working together on such an ambitious project offers a great opportunity for teaming world-class engineers and scientists.

Among the mission’s many goals are monitoring of environmental factors (climate, topography, soils, etc.) affecting land surfaces, the study of interactions with human activities, validation of models based on natural and cultivated ecosystems, and improvement of carbon cycle modelling. For example, from September this year VENUS will offer the ability to acquire imagery of permafrost in Siberia every two days. These data will be retrieved via the Internet by the Max-Planck Institute, which is leading this project, and used to improve land cover maps and above all to track changes in planet cover, snow cover, surface water and flood zones. The ultimate aim is to enhance climate prediction scenarios by better representing feedback mechanisms between the carbon cycle and climate.

The result of exemplary cooperation between Israel and France, VENUS is paving the way for the next generation of European Earth-observing satellites with its unique features and new data processing methods and systems.

The launch of Vega will be carried live on
https://vega.cnes.fr/fr/venus-live via the Dailymotion video platform
Check out the photos of the VV10 flight campaign at the Guiana Space Centre at

Fabienne Lissak     – Head of Media    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 74    fabienne.lissak@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart          - Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51    raphael.sart@cnes.fr
Pascale Bresson    - Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr