Arianespace - Flight VV05 / Vega / Sentinel-2A launch poster.
June 22, 2015
Vega liftoff with Sentinel-2A
Arianespace orbited the Sentinel-2A satellite on its fifth launch of the year, also the fifth launch overall by Vega, the latest member of its launcher family. Sentinel-2A is the second satellite from the European Commission's Copernicus program to be launched by Arianespace, under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). Sentinel-2A lifted off on June 22 at 10:51:58 pm local time from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in Kourou, French Guiana.
Liftoff of the Vega mission with Sentinel-2A
Arianespace supports sustainable development
Sentinel-2A is the second satellite from the Copernicus program to be launched by Arianespace for the European Commission, under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). Built by Airbus Defence and Space as prime contractor, this optical Earth observation satellite is mainly designed to monitor land masses and coastal areas across the planet.
Copernicus is the European Commission's second space program, following Galileo. It aims to give Europe continuous, independent and reliable access to Earth observation data. The Copernicus program spans a wide range of missions and services, allowing us to better control and protect our environment, and better understand the phenomena underlying climate change, while also improving the safety and security of European citizens.
Over and above the Copernicus program, for the last 35 years Arianespace has supported sustainable development by launching satellites dedicated to environmental protection and monitoring, meteorology and navigation. Sentinel-2A joins the 45 satellites already launched by Arianespace for these applications over the last three decades.
Built by Airbus Defence and Space as prime contractor, the 1,140-kg.-class Sentinel-2A is to deliver high-resolution and multispectral capabilities, providing a 290-km.-wide coverage path and frequent revisits; and will join the Sentinel-1A spacecraft orbited by an Arianespace Soyuz mission in April 2014.
Guaranteeing access to space for Europe
With this launch for the European Commission and ESA, Arianespace continues to fulfill its mission of guaranteeing independent access to space for Europe. Arianespace also continues to carry out its 2015 launch manifest, featuring a number of government missions calling on the company's entire range of launchers to handle four distinct applications:
- Technological development with the IXV (launched by Vega on February 11) and scientific exploration with Lisa Pathfinder (to be launched by Vega in the second half of the year).
- Navigation: three Galileo missions (Soyuz – March 27, then in September and December).
- Secure communications: Sicral-2 (Ariane 5 – April 26).
- Environmental protection and meteorology: Sentinel-2A (Vega – June 22) and MSG-4 (Ariane 5 – scheduled July 8).
Vega: successful ramp-up and confirmed success
Today's Sentinel-2A launch marks the fifth Vega mission – all successful. It also marks the beginning of a ramp-up in operations, in line with its order book and to meet the target of three launches in 2015. Following the IXV launch in February, and the Sentinel-2A launch today, the Lisa Pathfinder satellite will be orbited by a Vega rocket by the end of 2015.
European Union Copernicus website: http://www.copernicus.eu/
European Space Agency website: http://www.esa.int/
Airbus Defence and Space website: http://www.airbusdefenceandspace.com/
Italian Space Agency website: http://www.asi.it/en
ELV, SpA website: http://www.elv.it/en
For more information about Arianespace, visit: http://www.arianespace.com/index/index.asp
Images, Video, Text, Credits: Arianespace/ESA/M. Pedoussaut.