June 23, 2015

Vega launches successfully on fifth flight from Guiana Space Centre

Monday 22 June, Vega accomplished a flawless launch from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) on its fifth successful mission since its maiden flight in 2012, carrying Sentinel-2A, the second satellite of the ambitious Copernicus Earth-observation programme into orbit.

Sentinel-2A is the second satellite in the ambitious Copernicus Earth-observation programme, formerly GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security). The Sentinel-2 constellation consists of two identical, separately launched satellites, Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-2B, designed to deliver high-resolution optical imagery and extend the data record built up by the SPOT and Landsat satellites.

This constellation will provide global coverage of Earth’s land surfaces every 10 days with one satellite and every five days with two. Both satellites are carrying a MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) combining high resolution with a wide imaging swath. The Earth- and ocean-observing Sentinel-2 constellation is designed chiefly for monitoring of land surfaces and shorelines. Sentinel-2 data will serve applications monitoring vegetation, soils and habitats, in particular for agriculture.

With a launch mass of 1.1 tonnes and an estimated mission lifetime of 10 years, Sentinel-2A was built by prime contractor Airbus Defence and Space on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) e Spatiale Européenne (ESA) to serve the European Union and its citizens.

Hailing this fifth successful launch for Vega, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I would like to congratulate all the teams who helped to make this launch a success at ESA, the Italian space agency ASI, Arianespace, Airbus Defence and Space and of course at CNES, especially the Toulouse Space Centre, whose expertise in image data processing will be crucial during the satellite’s in-orbit checkout phase. The support that our European partners are providing to the launch services sector was instrumental in this latest success, which reaffirms the international reputation of the Guiana Space Centre and the family of launchers we operate there with Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega.”

Pascale Bresson    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Alain Delrieu    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 74 04    alain.delrieu@cnes.fr
Julien Watelet    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37    julien.watelet@cnes.fr

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