Go for launch! Vega is approved for Arianespace’s June 22 liftoff with Sentinel-2A
Arianespace’s next Vega mission from French Guiana has been authorized for liftoff on June 22, with its approval following completion of the launch readiness review performed today at the Spaceport.
This assessment – held before each flight of an Arianespace launcher family member, which includes the light-lift Vega, medium-lift Soyuz and heavyweight Ariane 5 – confirmed that the vehicle and its Sentinel-2A satellite passenger are flight-ready, along with the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the network of downrange tracking stations.
The upcoming mission is designated Flight VV05 in Arianespace’s numbering system, and it will be performed from the Spaceport’s ZLV launch site – where the Vega was assembled and now stands in a flight-ready configuration, protected by a mobile gantry that will be withdrawn prior to liftoff.
With today’s launch readiness review completed, all is set for the Vega’s scheduled liftoff at precisely 10:51:58 p.m. local time in French Guiana on Monday, June 22.
The subsequent 54-minute, 43-second flight will conclude with deployment of Sentinel-2A – the latest Earth observation satellite for Europe’s ambitious Copernicus initiative – into a Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of approximately 786 km. Copernicus is headed by the European Commission in partnership with the European Space Agency.
Built by Airbus Defence and Space as prime contractor, the 1,140-kg.-class Sentinel-2A is to deliver high-resolution and multispectral capabilities, providing a 290-km.-wide coverage path and frequent revisits; and will join the Sentinel-1A spacecraft orbited by an Arianespace Soyuz mission in April 2014.
Flight VV05 will mark Arianespace’s fifth mission in 2015 using a member of its launcher family, underscoring the company’s sustained operational pace at the Spaceport this year. It follows two previous flights for Ariane 5, plus one each with Soyuz and Vega.