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Soyuz December 18, 2019

Flight VS23: Soyuz lifts off from the Spaceport in French Guiana

Arianespace’s Soyuz launcher has begun its latest mission from the Spaceport, carrying innovative satellite solutions for European institutional needs.

Payload lift performance for this mission to Sun-synchronous orbit – designated Flight VS23 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system – is estimated at 3,250 kg., with a flight sequence that will last 4 hours and 13 minutes from liftoff to final payload separation.

The primary passenger for Flight VS23 – the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation spacecraft – will be deployed first in the flight sequence. Manufactured by Thales Alenia Space, it is being launched for the Italian Space Agency (ISA) and Ministry of Defence.

CHEOPS (Characterising Exoplanet Satellite), Soyuz’ secondary passenger, is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission dedicated to studying bright, nearby stars that already are known to host exoplanets in order to make high-precision observations of the planet’s size. The spacecraft was produced by Airbus.

In addition, three auxiliary payloads are to be deployed on Flight VS23: EyeSat, for the French CNES space agency; ANGELS, for CNES and Hemeria; and OPS-SAT, for Tyvak on behalf of ESA.


More details are available in the Soyuz Flight VS23 launch kit:

Soyuz Flight VS23
PDF / 2 MB

Italian Space Agency website:

Thales Alenia Space website:

The European Space Agency website:

Airbus website, space activities:

CNES website:

Tyvak website:

Soyuz December 17, 2019

Flight VS23: Launch rescheduled to December 18

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