Arianespace orbits 600th satellite, the PRISMA Earth observation satellite for the Italian Space Age

On its third launch of the year, Arianespace has successfully orbited the PRISMA Earth observation satellite on behalf of the ASI Italian space agency, within the scope of a contract with OHB Italia.

This was the first Vega launch in 2019, and the 14th successful launch in a row for this light launcher since its introduction at the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in 2012. The launch took place on Thursday, March 21 at 10:50 pm local time in French Guiana.

PRISMA is the 600th satellite to be orbited by Arianespace and the eigth for Italian institutions or operators.

Following the launch, Arianespace Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Israël said: “With today’s successful launch of the PRISMA Earth observation satellite, Arianespace has orbited its 600th satellite! We are very proud to continue performing our primary vocation of ensuring independent access to space for Europe, with a focus this evening on Italy. Today’s mission, carried out for the Italian space agency, ASI, and the Italian industry consortium led by OHB Italia SpA and Leonardo SpA, illustrates the reliability of the Vega launcher, which has performed its 14th successful launch in a row. It also confirms the launcher’s attractiveness as a champion of the Earth observation market, since Arianespace now has 9 Vega and Vega C in its launch order backlog. Our third successful mission of the year, following launches by Ariane 5 and Soyuz last month, reflects the excellence and complementary fit of our family of launch vehicles.”

PRISMA (PRecursore IperSpettrale della Missione Applicativa) was built for the Italian ASI space agency by OHB Italia as prime contractor, with Leonardo responsible for the payload.

Lofted by Vega into low Earth orbit (LEO), PRISMA will provide major applications to protect the planet and ensure Italy’s environmental safety. The satellite is fitted with a state-of-the-art electro-optical instrument, comprising an innovative hyperspectral sensor and a medium-resolution panchromatic camera (sensitive to all visible wavelengths), and will employ these capabilities for environmental monitoring, the management of resources, identification and classification of crops, the fight against pollution, etc.

Today’s flight VV14 was the 12th Vega mission for Earth observation, while PRISMA is the 70th satellite launched by Arianespace for this type of application.

Through today’s successful launch, Arianespace is once again contributing to its assigned mission of providing launches that make life better on Earth.


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