overview

Launch date
August 16, 2021
Payload(s)
Pléiades Neo 4, Four auxiliary payloads: BRO-4, SUNSTORM, LEDSAT and RADCUBE
Launch vehicle
Vega
Launch site
Spaceport, French Guiana (Guiana Space Center)
Customer(s)
Airbus Defence and Space – Intelligence
Prime contractor(s)
Airbus Defence and Space
Orbit
Sun-synchronous orbit
Status
Success

mission
description

Arianespace’s seventh launch of 2021 with the second Vega of the year will place its satellite passengers into Sun-synchronous orbit. The launcher will be carrying a total payload of approximately 1,029 kg.

The launch will be performed in Kourou, French Guiana.

Washington, D.C.
09:47 p.m.
Kourou
10:47 p.m.
Universal time (UTC)
01:47 a.m.
Paris
03:47 a.m.
Japan
10:47 a.m.

Payloads

Pléiades Neo 4

Pléiades Neo 4 is the second of four satellites of the Pléiades Neo constellation to be launched. Entirely funded, manufactured, owned and operated by Airbus, Pléiades Neo is a breakthrough in Earth observation domain.

With 30 cm native resolution, best-in-class geolocation accuracy and twice-a-day revisit, the four Pléiades Neo satellitesunlock new possibilities with ultimate reactivity. Thanks to these state-of-the-art satellites, each step of the acquisition and delivery cycle offers top-level Earth observation services now and going forward for the next ten years. In addition, their reactive tasking ability allows urgent acquisitions 30 to 40 minutes following request – which is five times higher than previous constellations – and respond to the most critical situations in near real-time, very useful for natural disaster.

The Pléiades Neo constellation is 100% commercially available and will provide institutional and commercial customer’s needs. Images captured by Pléiades Neo will be streamed into the OneAtlas on-line platform, allowing customers to have immediate data access, analytics and correlation with Airbus’ unique archive of optical and radar data.

  • Pléiades Neo 4 will be the second satellite to be launched by Arianespace for Airbus Defence and Space Intelligence as an operator. There is one additional Airbus Defence and Space Intelligence mission, for two satellites to be launched on Vega C in the Arianespace backlog.
  • Pléiades Neo 4 will be the 133rd Airbus Defence and Space satellite to be launched by Arianespace. There are currently 18 Airbus satellites in Arianespace’s backlog. In addition, Airbus is involved in the construction of the OneWeb satellites being deployed by Arianespace.
BRO-4

BRO-4 (Breizh Reconnaissance Orbiter), a 6U CubeSat, is the fourth satellite of the Unseenlabs constellation dedicated to interception of radiofrequency signals from space. Using its own on-board technology based on the identification of electromagnetic signals from vessels, Unseenlabs is able to geolocate and characterize any ships at sea. The deployment of the constellation will comprise between 20 and 25 nano-satellites by 2025.

  • BRO-4 will be the first satellite to be launched by Arianespace for Unseenlabs.
  • BRO-4 will be the first GomSpace satellite to be launched by Arianespace.
SUNSTORM

SUNSTORM is a 2U CubeSat. It will fly an innovative solar X-ray spectrometer to detect the X-ray pulses produced by coronal mass ejections – massive eruptions of many millions of tons of material from the Sun’s surface. This can leads solar storms threatening, potentially harmful effects on satellites and terrestrial power and communications networks.

  • SUNSTORM will be the first Reaktor Space Lab Finland satellite to be launched by Arianespace.
  • SUNSTORM will be the 58th mission (80th satellite) to be launched by Arianespace for ESA. There are seven additional ESA missions (for nine satellites) in the Arianespace backlog.
LEDSAT

The 1U CubeSat is a mission developed by the University of Sapienza with the support of the Italian Space Agency and as part of the IKUNS programme in collaboration with University of Michigan. The mission is realized within the ESA’s Fly Your Satellite! programme and is an educational project conceived to investigate the performances of a technology based on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) to easily identify and track the satellite while in-orbit, in particular for: optical identification of the spacecraft, orbit determination, attitude reconstruction, and back-up light-based communication. This project is a hands-on educational programme which enables the transfer of ESA expertise to University students while facilitating them in building, testing and launching their own CubeSats.

  • LEDSAT will be the second La Sapienza satellite to be launched by Arianespace.
  • LEDSAT will be the 60th mission (82nd satellite) to be launched by Arianespace for ESA. There are seven additional ESA missions (for nine satellites) in the Arianespace backlog.
RADCUBE

RADCUBE is a 3U CubeSat joint mission with international consortium to demonstrate miniaturized instrument technologies that measure in-situ the space radiation and magnetic field environment in Low Earth Orbit for space weather monitoring purposes. RADCUBE will establish a space weather monitoring satellite system, which provides space weather forecast service for companies and organizations operating telecommunication infrastructure, energy transfer systems, or spacecraft. The platform developed by C3S will also be demonstrated in flight.

  • RADCUBE will be the first C3S Hungary satellite to be launched by Arianespace.
  • RADCUBE will be the 59th mission (81st satellite) to be launched by Arianespace for ESA. There are seven additional ESA missions (for nine satellites) in the Arianespace backlog.
Tune in on arianespace.com close