Launch at 18:51:10 PST, Sept. 1!
Launch preparations are complete for Vega Flight VV16! The launch window opens today, September 1 and will remain open until September 4. This flight has been delayed a few times, due to COVID and some unfavorable winds. This will be Arianespace’s sixth flight of the year, and the first Vega flight. Flight VV16 will be performed from the Vega Launch Complex (SLV) in Kourou, French Guiana.
“This has been a roller coaster of a mission!,” says Ryan Olcott, senior mission manager for Spaceflight. “We’ve been very impressed with Arianespace’s perseverance and readiness to provide additional assistance to help minimize the pain to their customers that the global pandemic, travel and work restrictions and unlucky weather have caused. A Proof of Concept dedicated rideshare mission like this was always going to be a challenge, 2020 heaped extra portions on top of that, which Arianespace has handled admirably. This mission will be a real testament to their capability and support of their customers – we can’t wait for many future missions with them.”
This will be the Proof of Concept (PoC) launch for the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS). On board will be 53 microsatellites, nanosatellites and cubesats, including 28 payloads from Spaceflight customers Satellogic, Planet, Swarm Technologies, and a Maxar-manufactured spacecraft.
Some more about our customers on this mission.
- NewSat-6, a low Earth orbit remote sensing satellite designed and manufactured in South America by Satellogic, a vertically integrated geospatial analytics company that is building the first Earth observation platform with the ability to remap the entire planet at both high-frequency and high-resolution. This is Satellogic’s 11th spacecraft in orbit, equipped with multispectral and hyperspectral imaging capabilities and it will be added to the company’s growing satellite constellation.
- Planet’s 14 next-generation SuperDove satellites (Flock 4v), which will join its constellation of 150 Earth-imaging spacecraft.
- Swarm Technologies’ 12 (.25U) satellites which provide affordable global connectivity.
The Spaceflight team can’t wait to see this launch. It’s been an adventure, between completing integration during a global pandemic, and having to recharge satellites due to weather-related launch delays.
We are proud to be part of this PoC rideshare mission and look forward to many other launches on Vega with Arianespace.