Vega Flight VV09

with Sentinel-2B


Launch vehicle
Launch date
March 6, 2017
European Space Agency (ESA)
Prime contractor(s)
Launch site
Spaceport, French Guiana (Guiana Space Center)
Sun-synchronous orbit


Flight VV09: A new Vega mission at the service of Earth observation with Europe’s Copernicus program

For its third launch of the year – and the ninth to be performed by the Vega launcher since its first liftoff from the Guiana Space Center in 2012 – Arianespace will orbit the Sentinel-2B satellite, a part of Europe’s Copernicus Earth observation program, on behalf of the European Commission within the scope of a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA).

As a multi-purpose launch vehicle that already has demonstrated its capabilities during the eight previous successful missions, Vega is now fully operational in commercial service – and will be performing its sixth flight for Earth observation.

French Guiana
10:49:24 p.m. (Mar. 6)
Universal Time (UTC)
1:49:24 (Mar. 7)
Paris, France
2:49:24 a.m. (Mar. 7)
Washington, D.C.
08:49:24 p.m. (Mar. 6)




Copernicus is the European Commission’s Earth observation program. Its aim is to give Europe continuous, independent and reliable access to Earth observation data. It covers a vast spectrum of missions that will enable this continent to better control and protect the environment, enhance understanding of the underlying phenomena in climate change, as well as improve security for European citizens.

Sentinel-2B is the fourth satellite in the Copernicus program to be orbited by Arianespace, following the successful launches of Sentinel-1A by a Soyuz rocket in April 2014, Sentinel-2A by a Vega rocket in June 2015, and Sentinel-1B by a Soyuz in April 2016 – all performed from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.

The Sentinel-2B Earth observation satellite primarily focuses on monitoring land masses and coastal zones around the world. Its data will be used for applications concerning the monitoring of vegetation, soil types and habitats. The spacecraft features a multispectral, wide-swath, high-resolution optical imaging instrument.

Sentinel-2B will be positioned in an orbit opposite that of Sentinel-2A to ensure optimum coverage and data delivery. The pair of Sentinel-2 satellites will cover the Earth’s entire surface in five days. This high frequency means they will capture brand-new views of the Earth, driving considerable progress in monitoring and predicting changes in vegetation
and aquatic pollution.

Sentinel-2B was built by a consortium led by Airbus.

and flight

  • Start of final countdown
  • Activation of Multi-Functional Unit (MFU)
  • Activation of Inertial Reference System (IRS)
  • Activation of telemetry
  • show the countdown
  • Liftoff
  • show the countdown
  • Fairing separation
  • 3rd stage (Zefiro-9) separation
  • 1st ignition of AVUM
  • 1st cut-off of AVUM
  • 2nd ignition of AVUM
  • 2nd cut-off of AVUM
  • Separation of Sentinel-2B
  • 3rd ignition of AVUM
  • 3rd cut-off of AVUM
  • End of the Arianespace mission
Tune in on close