ESA and Arianespace have signed a contract that secure the SEOSAT–Ingenio Earth observation satellite’s ride into orbit next year on a Vega rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
SEOSAT, short for Spanish Earth observation satellite, will provide high-resolution multispectral images of Earth for applications such as cartography, monitoring land use, urban management, water management, risk management and security.
Information from SEOSAT–Ingenio will be used by different Spanish civil, institutional and government users, but also potentially by other European users in the framework of the European Union’s Copernicus programme and the Group on Earth Observations’ Global Earth Observation System of Systems.
While SEOSAT–Ingenio is a Spanish national mission, it is the result of an international collaborative effort. The mission is funded by Spain’s Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) but developed and managed by ESA in the context of the European Earth Observation Architecture.
This means that CDTI entrusted ESA with the technical and contractual management of the industrial activities; namely the procurement of the space and ground segments.
With the satellite now built, ESA and Arianespace have signed the contract to launch it into orbit. The signature took place on 17 May in Madrid, Spain.
Paving the way for this signature, ESA and CDTI had also signed an agreement at the event, allowing ESA to proceed with the procurement of the launch service.
ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, said, “I am very happy to sign the agreements today.
“This reflects strong cooperation with Spain in the field of Earth observation. We look forward to launch early next year and to SEOSAT–Ingenio complementing Europe’s Earth Observation Architecture, and also adding another mission to our Third Party Mission portfolio.”
SEOSAT–Ingenio will liftoff on a Vega rocket, which will also carry the CNES French space agency’s Taranis satellite. Arianespace manage the launch from the spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, Stéphane Israël, said, “We are delighted Arianespace has been chosen by ESA to launch SEOSAT–Ingenio.
“Taking this satellite into orbit for the benefit of Spanish and European citizens aboard a Vega launcher together with another mission for France reasserts Arianespace’s first mission – to ensure European independent access to space.