Arianespace successfully carried out its 20th Vega launch (VV20), its 12th launch of the year and the third with the Vega light launcher. It was also the 300th launch by Arianespace from the Guiana Space Centre. The mission orbited three CERES satellites, developed for the French armed forces with French defense procurement agency DGA as contracting authority and with the assistance of the French space agency CNES.
This latest mission by Vega once again shows Arianespace’s ability to support the most innovative satellite-based solutions from institutional customers.
“This mission shows the exceptional versatility of the Vega launcher.”Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace
Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace said, “Our light launcher had already orbited two satellites for the Pleiades Neo constellation for Airbus this year, along with nine auxiliary payloads, and today we continue this string with three CERES satellites. I would like to thank the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, DGA and CNES for continuing to entrust us with their missions, and also congratulate everybody responsible for this success at Arianespace and Avio, the Vega prime contractor. It marks the third success in less than a month for our launcher family Ariane, Vega and Soyuz.”
The three CERES (Capacity de Renseignement Électromagnétique Spatiale) satellites are designed to collect signals intelligence (SIGINT) from areas inaccessible to surface sensors, excluding restrictions on airspace overflights and in all weather conditions.
They will greatly enhance visual situational awareness to support the design and execution of military operations. A state-of-the-art system, CERES allows France to join the very select club of nations with these advanced capabilities. Airbus Defence and Space is the prime contractor for the space segment, and is co-prime with Thales Defence Mission Systems, in charge of the payload and user ground segment. In addition, Thales Alenia Space acts as a subcontractor to Airbus Defence and Space for the supply of the satellite platform.
The Vega launcher, built by Avio (Colleferro, Italy) as prime contractor, is perfectly suited to the institutional market. Because of its performance and versatility, Arianespace offers customers the best possible solutions to orbit their small and medium payloads for a wide range of applications (Earth observation, science, education, and defense.)