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Vega July 3, 2019

Assembly of the Vega launcher is completed for Arianespace’s July 5 flight with FalconEye1

Another Vega launch vehicle has completed its assembly process at the Spaceport in French Guiana, marking a major milestone as preparations continue for Arianespace’s sixth mission overall in 2019.

Encapsulation of Flight VV15’s satellite passenger is highlighted in these photos. At left, one of the payload fairing’s half-shells is positioned around FalconEye1; while at right, the two-piece payload fairing is closed up, completing the process.

This activity concluded with integration of the  “upper composite” – consisting of the FalconEye1 high-performance optical Earth observation satellite and its protective payload fairing – atop the Vega launcher. Installation took place at the Spaceport’s SLV launch site for Vega, inside the facility’s protective mobile gantry.

Vega will now undergo final preparations and checkout leading to a nighttime liftoff on July 5 (local time in French Guiana) for Arianespace Flight VV15, marking the 15th mission for this vehicle since its 2012 service entry at the Spaceport.

The lightweight Vega is one of three launchers operated by Arianespace from French Guiana, along with the medium-lift Soyuz and heavyweight Ariane 5.

Earth observation with FalconEye

FalconEye1 is the first of two spacecraft that will compose 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 satellite was produced by Airbus Defence and Space as prime contractor and Thales Alenia Space as co-prime. The follow-on FalconEye2 spacecraft, also manufactured by the Airbus Defence and Space/Thales Alenia Space teaming, is scheduled to be orbited before the end of 2019 on a separate Vega mission.

  • Larger versions of the photos above are available in the Gallery.

Liftoff time for Flight VV15:

Washington, D.C.  French Guiana UTC Paris Abu Dhabi
At 9:53:03 p.m.
on July 5
At 10:53:03 p.m.
on July 5
At 1:53:03
on July 6
At 3:53:03 a.m.
on July 6
At 5:53:03 a.m.
on July 6


More details are available in the VV15 launch kit:

Vega Flight VV15
PDF / 316 KB

Avio website, Vega launch vehicle:

Airbus website, space activities:

Thales Alenia Space website:

Vega June 27, 2019

FalconEye1 is readied for launch on Arianespace’s upcoming Vega mission

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