Vega Flight VV10

with OPTSAT-3000 and Venµs


Launch vehicle
Launch date
August 1, 2017
OPTSAT-3000, Venus
OHB Italia, Israel Ministry of Science and Technology
Prime contractor(s)
Telespazio, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd (IAI)
Launch site
Spaceport, French Guiana (Guiana Space Center)
Sun-synchronous orbit


Flight VV10: Vega to launch Earth Observation Satellites for Italy, France and Israel

For its eighth launch of the year, and the 10th Vega mission since this launcher began its career at the Guiana Space Center in 2012, Arianespace will orbit OPTSAT-3000 and Venµs – two Earth observation satellites for civil and military applications.

This marks the seventh Earth observation mission for Vega, a light launcher now in full commercial operation, whose versatility has been largely proven during its nine previous missions – all successful.

Washington, D.C.
9:58:33 p.m. (Aug. 1)
French Guiana
10:58:33 p.m. (Aug. 1)
Universal Time (UTC)
1:58:33 (Aug. 2)
Paris, France
3:58:33 a.m. (Aug. 2)
Rome, Italy
3:58:33 a.m. (Aug. 2)
Tel Aviv, Israel
4:58:33 a.m. (Aug. 2)



OPTSAT-3000 is an Earth observation program for the Italian Ministry of Defense. It comprises a high-resolution optical satellite and a ground segment for in-orbit control, mission planning and the acquisition and processing of images.

OPTSAT-3000 will allow national defense entities to acquire and use high-resolution images from any part of the globe.

The OPTSAT-3000 system is supplied by the prime contractor Telespazio, a joint venture between Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%). Telespazio is responsible for the entire system, including the satellite, ground segment, launch and early orbital operations, preparation and execution of operations and logistics, in-orbit tests and commissioning.

The satellite and ground control systems were built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), chosen by the Italian Ministry of Defense on the basis of an inter-governmental agreement between Italy and Israel. OHB Italia is responsible for the launch services and related engineering support.

The OPTSAT-3000 system will be inter-operable with Italy’s second-generation COSMO-SkyMed radar satellites. This will give the Italian Defense Ministry access to state-of-the-art technology, and ensure maximum operational capabilities because of the combined optical and radar data offered by the two systems.

OPTSAT-3000 is a three-axis stabilized satellite, highly autonomous and combining reduced weight, low power consumption, and high reliability.

The satellite features:

  • High resolution,
  • High-precision geolocation,
  • High-quality images,
  • Reduced weight, which allows a wide range of launch options,
  • High agility, thanks to the satellite’s reduced weight and small size. This means low inertia, which in turn allows the acquisition of a large number of images,
  • Design life exceeding seven years.

The ground segment includes facilities in Fucino, CITS in Pratica di Mare, MBT in Tel Aviv and CIGC in Vigna di Valle.


Venμs is an earth observation and exploratory mission of the Israel Space Agency (ISA) – a government body sponsored by the country’s Ministry of Science & Technology – and the French CNES space agency (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales).

The satellite has a twofold objective:

  1. Scientific: Frequent revisits (up to two days) of scientific sites spread worldwide for the study and evolution of vegetation, and for environmental purposes.
  2. Technological: In-flight qualification of the Israeli Electrical Propulsion System.

While the satellite’s designation may sound like the name of a planet, it actually is the acronym for: Vegetation and Environment monitoring on a New Micro Satellite.

Venμs is equipped with a multi-spectral camera that can capture important details, some of them are not visible to the human eye. The camera operates in 12 wavelengths that work simultaneously. It takes 12 simultaneous images of the same location – each in different spectral bands, including those in the near-infrared range. These separate images are processed into one very precise complete color photograph.


The satellite will image vast areas around the globe and provide dozens of images every day, each of them covering approximately 760 square kilometers. Venμs will fly in a Sun-synchronous, near-polar orbit – which enables its return to view each area around the world, exactly at the same time and under the same imagery conditions.

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
  • Separation of OPTSAT-3000
  • Separation of VUP
  • 3rd ignition of AVUM
  • 3rd cut-off of AVUM
  • 4th ignition of AVUM
  • 4th cut-off of AVUM
  • Separation of Venµs
  • 5th ignition of AVUM
  • 5th cut-off of AVUM
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