It’s a “go” for Arianespace’s Vega launch with Kazakhstan’s first Earth observation satellite
Arianespace’s next Vega mission from French Guiana has been given the “all clear” for liftoff on April 28 with its DZZ-HR payload, following completion of the launch readiness review performed today at the Spaceport.
This assessment – held before each flight of an Arianespace launcher family member – confirmed that the light-lift vehicle and its DZZ-HR satellite passenger are flight-ready, along with the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the network of downrange tracking stations.
The decal for DZZ-HR – which includes the Republic of Kazakhstan flag and logo for this Earth observation satellite’s prime contractor, Airbus Defence and Space – was added to the Vega launcher’s payload fairing during earlier mission preparation activity at the Spaceport.
The upcoming mission is designated Flight VV03 in Arianespace’s numbering system, and it will be performed from the Spaceport’s SLV launch site – where the Vega was assembled and now stands in a flight-ready configuration, protected by a mobile gantry that will be withdrawn prior to liftoff.
With today’s launch readiness review completed, all is set for the Vega’s scheduled liftoff precisely at 10:35:15 p.m. local time in French Guiana on Monday, April 28. Its subsequent 55-minute, 29-second flight will conclude with deployment of DZZ-HR – which was built by Airbus Defence and Space for the Republic of Kazakhstan – into a Sun-synchronous orbit, inclined 98.5 deg.
DZZ-HR will perform civilian applications ranging from the monitoring of natural and agricultural resources to the provision of mapping data and support for rescue operations during natural disasters. It has a liftoff mass of approximately 830 kg., and will be re-designated KazEOSat-1 after reaching the assigned orbit.
Vega is one of three launchers operated by Arianespace at the Spaceport, along with the medium-lift Soyuz and heavyweight Ariane 5. It was developed in a European Space Agency program financed by Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden – conceived to orbit small- to medium-sized satellites, including institutional and scientific spacecraft.
Design authority and prime contractor for Vega is Italy’s ELV – a joint venture company of Avio and the Italian space agency – while Arianespace has responsibility for handling the launch operations.
Flight VV03 will be the third launch for Vega, following its qualification in February 2012 (carrying the LARES laser relativity satellite, a small ALMASat-1 technology microsatellite demonstrator, and seven CubeSats), and a mission in May 2013 (which orbited the Proba-V, VNREDSat-1 and ESTCube-1 spacecraft).