FalconEye1 is readied for launch on Arianespace’s upcoming Vega mission
Preparations are continuing for Arianespace’s second Vega flight in 2019 (and sixth overall this year for its launcher family), which will orbit a high-performance optical Earth observation satellite for the United Arab Emirates on July 5 from the Spaceport in French Guiana.
FalconEye1 is “topped off” at the Spaceport in French Guiana, clearing the way for its integration on Vega.
FalconEye1 – developed by Airbus Defence and Space as prime contractor and Thales Alenia Space as co-prime – is now advancing through the pre-flight checkout process, having received its propellant load during activity at the Spaceport.
The satellite will weigh approximately 1,197 kg. at launch and will be raised to a helio-synchronous orbit at 611 kilometers following its deployment by Vega.
FalconEye1 is the first in a pair of spacecraft that will make up the United Arab Emirates’ FalconEye satellite system, which is to serve two primary purposes: supporting the needs of this country’s armed forces and supplying the commercial market with imagery. The second FalconEye spacecraft – FalconEye2 – will be launched later in 2019 on a separate Arianespace Vega mission.
The upcoming mission is designated Flight VV15, signifying the 15th launch of the lightweight Vega vehicle – which joins Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz and heavyweight Ariane 5 in side-by-side operations at the Spaceport in French Guiana, forming a comprehensive launch vehicle family.
A larger version of the photo above is available in the Gallery.