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Vega November 10, 2020

Arianespace to launch Earth observation and scientific satellites with Vega

On November 16, Arianespace will carry out its seventh launch of the year, and second with Vega, to orbit two satellites, one for the European Space Agency (ESA) and Spain, and one for the French space agency CNES.

ESA’s SEOSAT-Ingenio is an Earth observation satellite designed to foster the development of remote sensing applications in Spain. CNES’s TARANIS is the first satellite designed to observe electromagnetic phenomena in the atmosphere above thunderstorms.

Arianespace is teaming up with CNES, ESA and Avio to introduce an innovative pre-launch online event on this mission, open to all on the LaunchXP platform.

For its seventh launch of the year, and the 17th by Vega since its introduction in 2012, Arianespace will orbit two satellites: SEOSAT-Ingenio for ESA, on behalf of the Spanish Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), and TARANIS for French space agency CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales). The launch is scheduled for November 16, 2020 at 10:52 pm local time in Kourou, French Guiana, and the mission will last one hour and 42 minutes.

A flagship mission in Spain’s strategic space plan, SEOSAT-Ingenio is a high-resolution optical imaging satellite. It will provide high-resolution multispectral and optical images for applications such as mapping, land use, environmental monitoring, risk management and security.

Named after the god of thunder in Celtic mythology, TARANIS (which also stands for “Tool for the Analysis of RAdiation from lightNIng and Sprites”) is the first satellite designed to observe luminous, radiative and electromagnetic phenomena occurring at altitudes of 20 to 100 kilometers above thunderstorms. In particular, TARANIS will study the correlation between transient luminous events (TLE) and terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGF).

For this mission, Arianespace is teaming up with CNES, ESA and Avio to offer a pre-launch online event using the LaunchXP platform. The platform will open at 8:00 am (local time in Paris and Madrid) on November 16, providing access to a broad array of information on this mission, the Vega launcher and the two satellites involved. Go to

Vega, a new-generation light launcher built by Avio as industrial prime contractor, is perfectly suited to the requirements of both the government and commercial markets. Its performance and versatility allow Arianespace to offer the best possible launch solution for small and medium-size payloads sent into a variety of orbits – including Sun-synchronous low orbit, ballistic, transfer orbit to the Lagrange point L1, etc. – for Earth observation, science, education, defense and other applications. With the follow-on Vega C, Arianespace will offer its customers higher performance and greater payload volume at the same cost.

For further information, download the launch press kit at:

An online press conference will be held on the LaunchXP platform on November 16 at 4:30 pm (local time in Paris and Madrid):

To follow the launch live online, go to our site, or to the Arianespace YouTube channel at (audio feed in French and English starting at T-19 minutes).

About Arianespace 

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 700 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.

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