Preparations are continuing for Arianespace’s second Vega flight in 2019 (and sixth overall this year for its launcher family), which will orbit a high-performance optical Earth observation satellite for the United Arab Emirates on July 5 from the Spaceport in French Guiana.
FalconEye1 is “topped off” at the Spaceport in French Guiana, clearing the way for its integration on Vega.
FalconEye1 – developed by Airbus Defence and Space as prime contractor and Thales Alenia Space as co-prime – is now advancing through the pre-flight checkout process, having received its propellant load during activity at the Spaceport.
The satellite will weigh approximately 1,197 kg. at launch and will be raised to a helio-synchronous orbit at 611 kilometers following its deployment by Vega.
FalconEye1 is the first in a pair of spacecraft that will make up the United Arab Emirates’ FalconEye satellite system, which is to serve two primary purposes: supporting the needs of this country’s armed forces and supplying the commercial market with imagery. The second FalconEye spacecraft – FalconEye2 – will be launched later in 2019 on a separate Arianespace Vega mission.
The upcoming mission is designated Flight VV15, signifying the 15th launch of the lightweight Vega vehicle – which joins Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz and heavyweight Ariane 5 in side-by-side operations at the Spaceport in French Guiana, forming a comprehensive launch vehicle family.