Arianespace to launch KOMPSAT-7 for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) using a Vega C launch vehicle
Arianespace has been selected by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute to launch KOMPSAT-7. Stephane Israël, Arianespace CEO, and Lim Cheol-Ho, President of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), signed the KOMPSAT-7 launch contract today.
Using a Vega C launcher, the mission will be conducted from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, from December 2021.
For nearly 30 years now, Arianespace and Korea’s satellite technology research centers have developed a sound relationship, with the launch of both scientific microsatellites (Kitsat A&B) and the multi-mission COMS satellite. Following the upcoming launches of GEO-KOMPSAT-2A & 2B, the KOMPSAT-7 will be the fourth KARI satellite – as well as the ninth Korean satellite – to be orbited by Arianespace to date.
Developed by KARI at its facility in Daejeon, South Korea, KOMPSAT-7 will weigh approximately 2,000 kg. at launch, and will be placed in a sun-synchronous orbit.
KOMPSAT-7 is the follow-up model of KOMPSAT-3A whose mission is to provide high-resolution satellite images to satisfy South-Korea’s governmental and institutional needs.
Vega C will join the Arianespace’s family of launch vehicles beginning in 2019, alongside the company’s heavy-lift Ariane 5, the medium-lift Soyuz and the light-lift Vega – all operated from the Guiana Space Center. To meet the needs of an increasingly dynamic market segment for flight with small to medium-size satellites, Vega C will offer Arianespace customers enhanced payload performance thanks to its improved lift capability, along with increased volume under the payload fairing. Colleferro, Italy-based Avio is the industrial prime contractor for Vega and Vega C.
Stéphane Israël, Arianespace CEO, welcomed the contract signing, saying: “We are delighted that KARI has chosen Arianespace and Vega C to launch KOMPSAT-7. At a time where we are preparing for the launch of GEO-KOMPSAT-2A & 2B for KARI, it means a lot when such a close partner confirms the relevance of our solutions towards the dynamic Earth observation market. By embarking this satellite expected to step up Korean Earth Observation capacities, European launchers will support an ambitious national space program and contribute to strengthening the strong bond between Europe and South Korea.”
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 570 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 17 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.