Arianespace to launch earth observation and scientific satellites with Vega

For its seventh launch of the year, and the 17th by Vega since its introduction in 2012, Arianespace will orbit two satellites: SEOSAT-Ingenio for ESA, on behalf of the Spanish Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), and TARANIS for French space agency CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales). The launch is scheduled for November 16, 2020 at 10:52 pm local time in Kourou, French Guiana, and the mission will last one hour and 42 minutes.

A flagship mission in Spain’s strategic space plan, SEOSAT-Ingenio is a high-resolution optical imaging satellite. It will provide high-resolution multispectral and optical images for applications such as mapping, land use, environmental monitoring, risk management and security.


Named after the god of thunder in Celtic mythology, TARANIS (which also stands for “Tool for the Analysis of RAdiation from lightNIng and Sprites”) is the first satellite designed to observe luminous, radiative and electromagnetic phenomena occurring at altitudes of 20 to 100 kilometers above thunderstorms. In particular, TARANIS will study the correlation between transient luminous events (TLE) and terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGF).


For this mission, Arianespace is teaming up with CNES, ESA and Avio to offer a pre-launch online event using the LaunchXP platform. The platform will open at 8:00 am (local time in Paris and Madrid) on November 16, providing access to a broad array of information on this mission, the Vega launcher and the two satellites involved.


Vega, a new-generation light launcher built by Avio as industrial prime contractor, is perfectly suited to the requirements of both the government and commercial markets. Its performance and versatility allow Arianespace to offer the best possible launch solution for small and medium-size payloads sent into a variety of orbits – including Sun-synchronous low orbit, ballistic, transfer orbit to the Lagrange point L1, etc. – for Earth observation, science, education, defense and other applications. With the follow-on Vega C, Arianespace will offer its customers higher performance and greater payload volume at the same cost.

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