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The Launch of the Vega rocket with France and Spain Satellites

The French research spacecraft and the Spanish Earth observation satellite would share a ride together to orbit using the Vega rocket. The rocket would leave its launch pad at 0152:20 GTM Tuesday (8:52:20 p.m. EST Monday from the Guiana Space Center, South America. 

After the launch, the SEOSAT-Ingenio satellite is expected to move to the upper side of the Vega rocket’s payload. In contrast, the Taranis research spacecraft would move to the lower side of the Vega shroud. The Vega launcher, which is 30-meter long, is developed and designed by the Italian Aerospace Company Avio. The Vega rocket would place the two satellites into two different orbits. 

If all goes as planned, the SEOSAT-Ingenio would be deployed BY the rocket’s upper stage at 0246 GMT (9:46 p.m. EST) into 760-kilometer-high orbit and will incline at an angle of 98.09-degree to the equator. At exactly 0334 GMT (10:34 p.m. EST), the Taranis satellite will be released by the upper stage after the orbital adjustment burns into 420 miles high with an inclination angle of 98.19-degrees. The last burn from the upper stage would enable the rocket to enter back the Earth’s atmosphere, preventing it from being space junk. 

According to the Arianespace, SEOSAT-Ingenio weighs approximately 750 kilograms (1650 pounds, with two optical cameras. It has a resolution of 2.5-meter (8.2-feet) in white and black, and it will capture images in 55-kilometer (34 miles) wide. 

The satellite is capable of collecting data in near-infrared, blue, green, and red wavelengths, and it will also take pictures from sideways. The data collected from this mission would greatly help policymakers, scientists, and commercial and public enterprises. 

The CDTI Head of the Aerospace Programs Department, Jorge Ferreras Lomba, said that images captured by the SEOSAT-Ingenio would be used in various applications like security, border control, land use, and climate change. He added that SEOSAT-Ingenio’s data would be used to supplement the Sentinel satellites’ data. These data would be distributed across the world without any pay. 

ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programs, Josef Aschbacher, said that SEOSAT-Ingenio is a versatile satellite capable of serving various sectors such as agriculture, forest fires, disaster management, and fisheries. 

The Spanish government is the owner of the satellite and is the one that funded the mission. ESA was the SEOSAT-Ingenio designer and manager in its development and would distribute the satellite imagery to world users. The satellite would capture pictures of Spain, Latin America, North Africa, and some parts of Europe, but it has global coverage capacity.

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