Arianespace’s Soyuz mission with Sentinel-1A is given the “go” for liftoff tomorrow
The next Arianespace Soyuz launch from French Guiana has been authorized for liftoff tomorrow on a mission that will supply essential data for Europe’s Copernicus Earth observation program.
This “go” approval was given today after the regular pre-launch review for Arianespace flights – which confirmed the readiness of Soyuz and its Sentinel-1A satellite passenger, the launch site and associated infrastructure at the Spaceport, along with the network of downrange tracking stations.
The April 3 mission is designated VS07 in Arianespace’s flight numbering system, and will be performed from the purpose-built ZLS launch facility for Soyuz, located in the Spaceport’s northwestern sector.
Tomorrow’s Soyuz liftoff is set for a precise moment – 6:02:26 p.m. local time in French Guiana – initiating a 23-minute mission to deploy Sentinel-1A into a Sun-synchronous orbit. The satellite has a liftoff mass estimated at 2,157 kg. and a nominal design life of 7.25 years.
Copernicus is a program of the European Commission in partnership with the European Space Agency, and is designed to give Europe complete independence in the acquisition and management of data for Earth environmental, civil safety and humanitarian purposes.
Prime contractor Thales Alenia Space led the industrial consortium in which Sentinel-1A was developed, with the spacecraft’s C-SAR synthetic aperture radar payload produced by Airbus Defence and Space.
The flight tomorrow will be Arianespace’s third so far in 2014, as well as its seventh Soyuz mission performed from French Guiana since the workhorse Russian-built vehicle’s 2011 introduction at the equatorial launch site.