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Vega May 3, 2013

Unfavorable high-altitude winds postpone Vega’s mission from the Spaceport with a trio of satellites

High-altitude winds over the Spaceport in French Guiana have resulted in the decision by Arianespace and the European Space Agency to postpone tonight’s Vega mission with three satellite payloads.

5-3-2013-vv02This postponement was based on strict safety conditions applied for Arianespace launch operations.  The Vega vehicle and its three spacecraft passengers – Proba-V, VNREDSat-1 and ESTCube-1 – remain in a safe, standby mode at the Spaceport’s SLV launch site.

A new launch date will be decided based on the evolution of the weather conditions.

The Proba-V passenger for this mission is a 160-kg. European Space Agency spacecraft, designed to map land cover and vegetation growth across the Earth every two days.  Produced by prime contractor QinetiQ Space Belgium, it carries an advanced version of the Vegetation instrument.

VNREDSat-1 is a 120-kg. optical satellite for Vietnam, designed to support the country’s creation of an infrastructure to enable better studies of climate change effects, improving predictions for natural disasters and optimizing natural resource management.  It was built by Astrium on behalf of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST).

Joining these two payloads is Estonia’s ESTCube-1 student nanosatellite, which will test electric solar wind sail technologies and help establish the basis infrastructure for future Estonian space projects.  The 1.3-kg. cubesat was produced in a collaboration of students from the Estonian Aviation Academy, Tallinn University of Technology, Tartu University and the University of Life Sciences – and developed in conjunction with the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the German Space Center (DLR).

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Vega May 3, 2013

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