Arianespace to launch ANGELS, the French industry’s first nanosatellite, in 2019
Arianespace and the French CNES space agency today announced that they have signed a launch contract for the first nanosatellite completely built by French industry, called ANGELS (ARGOS Néo on a Generic Economical and Light Satellite).
ANGELS will be launched as an auxiliary payload with the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation (CSG 1) and CHEOPS satellites by a Soyuz rocket in 2019 from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana (South America). It is jointly financed and developed by the French CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) space agency and NEXEYA, an innovative industrial group active in the aerospace, defense, energy, rail and automotive markets.
The satellite will be fitted with a miniaturized ARGOS Néo instrument, which is 10-times smaller than the equivalent previous-generation device. The instrument collects and determines the position of low-power signals and messages sent by the 20,000 ARGOS beacons now in service worldwide. Two project teams – CNES and NEXEYA for ANGELS, and CNES, Thales Alenia Space and Syrlinks for ARGOS Néo – are working together on this French space project.
The ANGELS nanosatellite will have a liftoff mass of approximately 30 kg. at launch, including its separation device, and will be positioned in Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of more than 500 km.
Following the contract signature, Marie-Anne Clair, CNES Director of Orbital Systems, said: “CNES has been committed to miniaturizing satellites for a number of years, in particular through the Proteus mini-satellite and Myriade micro-satellite programs. ANGELS pursues and amplifies this initiative, by paving the way for French industry to build operational nanosatellites within the NewSpace environment.”
Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, added: “Arianespace is very proud of winning this new contract from CNES to launch ANGELS. Against the backdrop of a very dynamic small satellite market, this first nanosatellite from French industry reflects the availability of Arianespace’s services and its ability to adapt to the needs of the market.”
Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 590 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore.
Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 15 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.