The Vega launcher is being prepared for its tenth flight by Arianespace at the launch facility in French Guiana. The four stage Vega is the smallest rocket in the Arianespace fleet, and the launch is scheduled for 1 August. The flight has been designated as VV10, according to the launch numbering system used by Arianespace. The two passengers on board are the Venµs and OPTSAT-3000 earth observation satellites.

Venµs stands for Vegetation and Environment monitoring on a New MicroSatellite and is a collaboration between the Israel Space Agency and the French Space Agency. The satellite will be used for monitoring the growth of vegetation on Earth, allowing scientists to judge the impact of human activity and climate on the Earth’s land surfaces. After performing its scientific objectives, Venµs also has a technological objective. The Venµs  will test thrusters to delay the orbital decay of a satellite, at a lower orbit.

The OPTSAT-3000 is meant for high resolution imaging of the surface of the Earth for defence purposes. Venµs has a liftoff mass of 264 kg, and the OPTSAT-3000 has a liftoff mass of 368 kg. Both the satellites have been built by Israel Aerospace Industries, and both the satellites will be delivered to sun synchronous orbits.

Publish date: July 18, 2017 8:44 am| Modified date: July 18, 2017 8:46 am

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