Tuesday 18 December, Soyuz will lift off for the 20th time from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), carrying the CSO-1 security and defence Earth-observation satellite for CNES and the French defence procurement agency DGA.
This will be Soyuz’s third launch from the CSG in 2018 and the 11th and last satellite launch from the base this year.
With a launch mass of 3,565 kg, CSO-1 is the first military observation satellite of the CSO optical space component, a constellation of three identical satellites in different-altitude polar orbits. It has an expected lifetime of 10 years.
Airbus Defence & Space France is the satellite prime contractor and Thales Alenia Space France is supplying the optical instrument. CNES has delegated oversight responsibility for the CSO space component and the Mission Ground Segment. It is also system co-architect and in charge of satellite positioning, in-orbit checkout and operations. DGA has oversight responsibility for construction and sustainment of the User Ground Segment, which provides the interface between the space sensors and users.
The Soyuz launch will be carried live on: