Preparations for Arianespace’s latest mission at the service of Earth observation are entering their final phase, with the GÖKTÜRK-1 optical satellite now transferred to the launch zone for integration on its lightweight Vega launcher.
During activity in French Guiana yesterday, GÖKTÜRK-1 was moved by a special transporter vehicle to the Spaceport’s SLV launch site. The spacecraft – which previously had been encapsulated in a protective payload fairing – was then hoisted to the upper level of the launch site’s mobile gantry, positioning it for installation atop the four-stage Vega launcher.
Liftoff of the Vega with GÖKTÜRK-1 is set for the morning of December 5, local time in French Guiana. This mission is designated Flight VV08 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, signifying the eighth liftoff of Vega since the vehicle began operation from the Spaceport in 2012.
Vega: developed by Europe
Vega is the smallest vehicle in Arianespace’s launcher family operated from French Guiana, complementing the company’s medium-lift Soyuz and heavyweight Ariane 5 in an offer covering a full range of launch services capabilities.
It has been developed in a European Space Agency (ESA) program jointly funded by Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden. The launch vehicle design authority and industrial prime contractor is Italy’s Avio, operating through its Italian subsidiary ELV (in which the Italian space agency ASI has a 30 percent stake).
For the upcoming mission, Vega will deploy the GÖKTÜRK-1 satellite passenger during a flight lasting just under one hour.
Turkey’s first governmental Earth observation satellite
GÖKTÜRK-1 is the first Turkish governmental satellite for Earth observation, and its very high-resolution images are intended for both civilian and military applications. When launched by Vega, the spacecraft will be injected into a Sun-synchronous orbit.
Telespazio is prime contractor of the GÖKTÜRK-1 program under terms of an agreement signed with the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries of Turkey.
Thales Alenia Space, along with Turkish partners, built GÖKTÜRK-1 based on the PROTEUS spacecraft platform.
Date: Nov 28, 2016