The spacecraft carries a suite of multi-wavelength sensors for land imaging, and will work with Sentinel-2A launched in 2015.
The recent German-Italian agreement to divide production of casings for the future Ariane 6 rocket’s strap-on boosters, which also serve as the first stage of the Italian-led Vega-C small-satellite launcher, was a victory for political harmony in Europe.
Europe’s Vega small-satellite launcher on Sept. 15 successfully placed five high-resolution optical Earth observation satellites — one for the Peruvian government and four for Google-owned Terra Bella — into low Earth orbit.
The European Commission on July 20 approved the Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL) takeover of launch-services provider Arianespace, saying companies had accepted conditions the commission imposed to minimize the chance of anti-competitive behavior.
Negotiations will start by June between the now fully operational Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL) and the European Space Agency on the ASL’s bid to complete construction of the future Ariane 6 rocket, ESA Launcher Director Gaele Winters said.
The president of the Italian Space Agency on March 17 voiced strong opposition to a French industrial takeover of Italy’s Avio, which is prime contractor for the Italian-led Vega small-satellite launcher, in the latest indication of the challenges facing European launch-sector reorganization.
The Dec. 3 launch of the European Space Agency's LISA Pathfinder fundamental-physics spacecraft marked the end of the long demonstration phase for Europe’s Vega small-satellite launcher, which has now posted six successes in six launch attempts.
The European Space Agency on Aug. 12 signed contracts with industry to produce an upgraded Vega small-satellite launcher for a launch in 2018 and the all-new Ariane 6 heavy-lift vehicle to debut in 2020.
ESA approved nearly $4.6 billion in contracts to build Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket, its launch base and a more-powerful version of the Vega small launcher.
The prime contractor for Europe’s Italian-led Vega small-satellite launcher said 2015 will be the year when the company finds a strategic owner and helps settle the broader European space-launch puzzle.
Arianespace will use a Vega to launch Peru’s high-resolution optical reconnaissance satellite in the first half of 2016 under a contract signed March 25 with Airbus, the satellite’s builder.
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee quickly approved the NASA Authorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 4412) by voice vote April 29, sending the policy-heavy bill — which sets no funding guidelines for appropriators — to the House floor.
Airbus-built satellite is one of many high-resolution reconnaissance satellites Europe’s aerospace giant is building for nonspacefaring nations.