On May 3rd 2002 at 10.31 pm, local time in Kourou, French Guiana (
3.31 am Paris local time or 1.31 am GMT on May 4, 2002) Ariane 42 P
launcher successfully placed the SPOT 5 Earth observation satellite
into a temporary orbit 20 kilometres below its nominal orbit at 832

The parameters of the orbit are :

inclination : 98.74° for a target of 98.74°

semi-axis : 7180.9 km for a target of 7181.4 km

position on the orbit : 39.6° for a target of 39.7°

Operational teams at CNES’s Toulouse Space Centre will now begin
manoeuvring the satellite to boost it to its final orbital position
relative to the other SPOT satellites. SPOT 5 will reach its final
orbit after a controlled phase lasting several days.

One hour after launch the satellite has been stabilised and is now
able to start the in-orbit checkout operations that will be performed
over the next two months. This in-flight commissioning will:

verify that the satellite, subsystems and equipment are functioning
check image and data product quality;
ensure that the whole system is operating correctly;
refine the instrument and satellite transfer functions used to correct
Products will also undergo thematic checks in addition to”>s
technical commissioning phase.

The SPOT 5 programme decided in October 1994 has built on the
technical and operational success of the entire series of SPOT
satellites and associated ground control, satellite programming, and
image reception and production facilities. The new satellite will
provide continuity of service through to 2007.

SPOT 5 will bring users continuity of service with previous SPOT
satellites. The satellite orbited today is also set to deliver
improved performance and unique features. Its two HRG instruments
(High-Resolution Geometric) offer ground resolutions as high as 2.5
metres and each cover an imaging swath of 60 kilometres, while the HRS
instrument (High-Resolution Stereoscopic) will enhance stereoviewing

SPOT 5 is also carrying two passenger instruments: VEGETATION 2 which
will observe global vegetation cover, and the DORIS precise
positioning system operated by CLS.

SPOT 5 was developed by CNES in partnership with Belgium and Sweden.
Astrium was the satellite prime contractor. Alcatel Space supplied
many items of equipment and was prime contractor for the VEGETATION
instrument. Spot Image markets SPOT data worldwide.

Press Contacts

CNES -Eliane Moreaux& phone 00 (33)5 61 27 33 44