The eighth Vega lightweight launcher to be operated from the Spaceport in French Guiana has been fully assembled and “topped off” with the GÖKTÜRK-1 optical satellite payload, readying it for Arianespace’s mission to Sun-synchronous orbit on December 5.
Designated Flight VV08 in Arianespace’s numbering system, this Vega launch is to deploy GÖKTÜRK-1 during a mission lasting just under two hours.
With Vega now in full commercial operation, Flight VV08 will mark the vehicle’s fifth launch at the service of Earth observation.
High-resolution imaging for Turkey
GÖKTÜRK-1 has been built as Turkey’s first governmental satellite for Earth observation, providing very high-resolution images for both civilian and military applications.
Telespazio is prime contractor of the GÖKTÜRK-1 program under terms of an agreement signed with the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) of Turkey. SSM is the 55th operator to select Arianespace for the launch of its initial satellite.
Thales Alenia Space and its Turkish partners – including the companies TAI A.S., Aselsan A.S., Tubitak Bilgem, Roketsan A.S. and TR Tecnoloji – built GÖKTÜRK-1 based on the PROTEUS spacecraft platform.
A morning liftoff for Vega
Liftoff of Vega from the Spaceport’s SLV launch site is set at exactly 10:51:44 a.m., local time in French Guiana on December 5 (13:51:44, Universal Time), with the launcher carrying a total payload of approximately 1,140 kg.
This latest Vega mission underscores the capabilities of Arianespace’s lightweight member in its launcher family operated from French Guiana – complementing the medium-lift Soyuz and heavyweight Ariane 5 in an offer that covers a full range of launch services capabilities.
Vega was developed in a European Space Agency (ESA) program jointly funded by Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden. Design authority and industrial prime contractor for the launch vehicle is Italy’s Avio, operating through its Italian subsidiary ELV (in which the Italian space agency ASI has a 30 percent stake).
Date: Nov 30, 2016