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Vega December 5, 2016

Flight VV08: Arianespace orbits an Earth observation satellite for Turkey using the Vega launcher

Arianespace has successfully launched the GÖKTÜRK-1 satellite within the scope of a turnkey contract with Telespazio on behalf of the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM).

The launch took place on December 5, 2016 at 10:51:44 a.m. local time, from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

This was the 10th launch of the year for Arianespace and the second with Vega in 2016. It also marked the eighth successful launch in a row of this lightweight launcher, which made its debut at the Guiana Space Center in 2012. As a versatile launch vehicle especially well suited to the Earth observation market, Vega continues to confirm its excellence with this latest mission.

Arianespace has eight more Vega missions in its order book.

Earth observation: a dynamic market for Arianespace

With its complete family of three launchers (the medium-lift Soyuz, heavyweight Ariane 5, and Vega), Arianespace is capable of launching any type of Earth observation or meteorology satellite. More than 20% of its future launches will be for these markets.

GÖKTÜRK-1 is the first Turkish Earth observation satellite launched by Arianespace in the six missions it has performed to date for Turkey. Featuring a very-high-resolution optical payload, this satellite will provide images for both civil and military applications.

Telespazio, prime contractor for the GÖKTÜRK-1 program, is in charge of satellite integration and the associated ground support equipment.

Arianespace and Thales Alenia Space

Thales Alenia Space and its Turkish partners built this satellite. GÖKTÜRK-1 is the 145th satellite from Thales Alenia Space to be launched by Arianespace.

Arianespace has 11 more Thales Alenia Space satellites in its order book: SENTINEL-2B, SGDC, TELKOM-3S, KOREASAT-7, COMSAT NG 1, four 03b satellites and two for undisclosed customers.

Eighth successful launch in a row for Vega

Vega, the lightweight launcher in the Arianespace family, continues its career with panache

The eight successful missions performed by Vega to date include both institutional customers and commercial export customers, confirming the launcher’s operational capabilities and adaptability.

Particularly well-tailored for missions with Earth observation satellites, the Vega order book currently stands at eight missions, with 45% for European institutions and 55% for export customers.

Vega is a European Space Agency (ESA) program, funded by Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden.

Avio is the launcher design authority and prime contractor, working through its Italian subsidiary ELV (owned 30% by Italian space agency ASI). Arianespace markets Vega launches and operates it from the Guiana Space Center, alongside Ariane 5 and Soyuz.

Gearing up for the future with Vega C

The upgraded Vega C launcher, slated to make its first flight as from 2019, will provide a significant performance increase over the current version in terms of payload capacity (weight and volume). It will be able to carry out an even wider range of missions, thus improving the competitiveness of the launch service. Arianespace already has started marketing Vega C launches.

vv08-liftoff2-smShortly after the announcement that the GÖKTÜRK-1 satellite had been injected into orbit, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël said: “With this second Vega launch of the year, and the eighth since its introduction at the Guiana Space Center, Arianespace has successfully orbited the Earth observation satellite GÖKTÜRK-1 for the Turkish government. We greatly appreciate the ongoing trust of Turkey, for whom we have already launched six satellites. I would like to thank Telespazio, our direct customer on GÖKTÜRK-1; and the satellite’s manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space and its Turkish partners. I also would like to congratulate our industrial prime contractor, ELV/Avio, for the launcher’s excellence and versatility, along with ESA and national space agencies, especially the Italian space agency (ASI), for supporting the Vega program. My thanks to CNES/CSG, and all companies and staff at the launch base, who continue to support us as we go from success to success. And, of course, congratulations to everybody at Arianespace for this 10th successful launch of the year.”


Thales Alenia Space and its Turkish partners – especially the companies TAI A.S., Aselsan A.S., Tubitak Bilgem, Roketsan A.S. and TR Tecnoloji – built this satellite using a Proteus platform.

It weighed 1,060 kg. at launch and offers a design life of seven years and three months. GÖKTÜRK-1 was placed in a low-Earth Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 700 km.

Coverage zone: the entire planet in 72 hours.

About Arianespace

To use space for a better life on earth, Arianespace guarantees access to space transportation services and solutions for any type of satellite, commercial as well as institutional, into any orbit. Since 1980, Arianespace has placed more than 540 satellites into orbit with its three launchers: Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from French Guiana in South America, and from Baikonur, Kazakhstan (central Asia). Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, France near Paris; and has a facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana; plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore.

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Vega November 29, 2016

Flight VV08: A new Vega mission at the service of earth observation

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