August 2, 2017

Vega successfully orbits VENuS and OPTSAT-3000 satellites on its tenth flight CNES’s four centres key to “making our planet great again”

Tuesday 1 August, Vega accomplished a flawless launch from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), orbiting the VENuU and OPTSAT-3000 satellites. The launch, conducted on behalf of CNES and the Israel Space Agency (ISA), and on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Defence, was the eighth this year from the CSG and marks the tenth flight of Vega, 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 ISA and IAI, the VENUS vegetation-monitoring satellite is at the cutting edge of innovation. Thanks to its multispectral high spatial resolution (five metres) and high revisit capability (every two days) covering 110 sites of scientific interest, VENUS will yield a rich harvest of data for scientists and the entire international space community. For CNES, working with Israel on such an ambitious project offered a great opportunity for teaming world-class engineers and scientists. Monitoring of the planet’s land surfaces, the study of interactions with human activities, validation of models based on natural and cultivated ecosystems, and improvement of carbon cycle modelling are among the mission’s many goals. VENUS data will be used to improve land cover maps and to track changes with a view to enhancing climate prediction scenarios.

After this latest successful launch, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I am delighted to see this tenth flawless launch for Vega, in which CNES’s four field centres were instrumental. With its eighth launch this year, the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) has confirmed its status as the best launch base in the world. The Launch Vehicles Directorate (DLA) played a key role in developing Vega. The Toulouse Space Centre (CST) worked with our Israeli partners to design and develop VENUS. And Head Office is leading our cooperative efforts with Israel under one of our most emblematic and most successful partnerships. I would therefore like to congratulate ESA, ASI, ELV, Avio, Arianespace, everyone in Europe’s space industry and at CNES for accomplishing this latest launch. I would also like to thank all of our partners in French Guiana, government departments, our armed forces and local firms for the fantastic commitment that is driving our continuing success. And most of all, I would like to say how pleased and proud we are to be working with ISA and IAI. Israel is a great space nation, a fact further confirmed by this launch of the VENµS satellite that we designed and developed together. VENUS is set to play a key role supporting climate actions, a challenge to which France and its President attach a great deal of importance. Thanks to VENUS, we are going to “Make Our Planet Great Again!”


Fabienne Lissak  - Head of Media    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 74
Pascale Bresson  - Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39
Raphaël Sart        - Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51