Launch date
November 16, 2021
CERES 1, 2 and 3
Launch vehicle
Launch site
Spaceport, French Guiana (Guiana Space Center)
CNES on behalf of French Ministry for the Armed Forces (DGA)
Prime contractor(s)
Airbus Defence and Space
Sun-synchronous orbit


Arianespace’s twelfth launch of 2021 with the third Vega of the year will place its satellite passengers into Sun-synchronous orbit. The launcher will be carrying a total payload of approximately 1548 kg.

The launch will be performed in Kourou, French Guiana.

Washington, D.C.
04:27 a.m.
06:27 a.m.
Universal time (UTC)
09:27 a.m.
10:27 a.m.
04:27 p.m.


CERES (CapacitÉ de Renseignement Électromagnétique Spatiale)

The CERES (CapacitÉ de Renseignement Électromagnétique Spatiale) project is conducted by the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) at the benefit of the armed forces, while the French space agency CNES assists DGA for project management.

The CERES program comprises three satellites flying in formation in low Earth orbit (LEO). Equipped with high-performance sensors, these satellites also offer all-weather, daily revisit frequency and are capable of collecting data enabling the characterization and location of transmitters.

Airbus Defence and Space is the prime contractor for the space segment, comprising three satellites, and is co-prime with Thales Defence Mission Systems, in charge of the payload and user ground segment. CNES assists DGA for project management; it supplies and operates the satellite control ground segment.

In addition, Thales Alenia Space acts as a subcontractor to Airbus Defence and Space for the supply of the satellite platform.

  • CERES will be the 47th to 49th French institutions satellites to be launched by Arianespace. There are currently six satellites in Arianespace’s backlog to be launched for French institutions.
  • The CERES 1, 2 and 3 will be the 134th to 136th Airbus Defence and Space satellites to be launched by Arianespace. There are currently 16 Airbus Defence and Space satellites in Arianespace’s backlog.
  • The CERES 1, 2 and 3 will be the 116th to 118th Earth observation satellites launched by Arianespace. Earth
    observation missions represent 11% of the total number of satellites launched by Arianespace.



France is now the only European country who has joined the closed club of the most advanced nations in intelligence of electromagnetic sources.

Tune in on arianespace.com close