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Arianespace Supporting The European Union’s Copernicus Programme With Vega C

On November 29, 2022

Arianespace announced having signed with the European Commission (Directorate General for Defence, Industry and Space), a contract for the procurement of five launch services with Vega C for the Copernicus component of the European Union’s (EU) Space Programme.

“I would like to thank the European commission, especially the DG DEFIS teams, along with ESA, for continuing to entrust us with the launch of the Sentinel satellites of the Copernicus Programme,” said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace. “To support the European Union’s ambitions and to ensure its sovereign access to Space is at the heart of our mission. This signature once again demonstrates the versatility and competitiveness to the new European light launcher Vega C, which backlog is now boosted to 13 launches.”

Timo Pesonen, Director-General of DG DEFIS said: “Thanks to this new contract with Arianespace, the European Commission is securing Copernicus launches over the next six years. These launches will ensure that, with the support of ESA, the Copernicus constellation is replenished and new observation capacities are put into orbit. We look forward to this new partnership with Vega C and Arianespace, key for the implementation of the EU Space Programme”.

The Sentinel satellites included in the contract are: Sentinel-1D, will be equiped with a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to provide all-weather ocean and land high resolution multi-purpose observations. It will round out the initial capacity offered by the preceding Sentinel-1 satellites to offer a comprehensive response to the needs for environmental and security monitoring via space-borne radar systems. The satellite, weighing around 2.3 metric tonnes, will be placed in a Sun[1]synchronous orbit with an altitude around 690 km. The launch is scheduled from the second half of 2024. In April 2021, Arianespace was selected for the launch of Sentinel-1C satellite, scheduled in the first half of 2023 on board Vega C. Arianespace previously launched Sentinel-1A in 2014 and -1B in 2016.

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