ESA title
Enabling & Support

About Proba-3

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology / Proba Missions
Beside being a world first from a technological point of view, the Proba-3 mission will open up space for smaller Member States and small- and medium sized businesses.

Proba-3 is ESA’s – and the world’s – first precision formation flying mission. A pair of satellites will fly together maintaining a fixed configuration as a ‘large rigid structure’ in space to prove formation flying technologies.

The mission will demonstrate formation flying in the context of a large-scale science experiment. The paired satellites will together form a 144-m long solar coronagraph to study the Sun’s faint corona closer to the solar rim than has ever before been achieved. Beside its scientific interest, the experiment will be a perfect instrument to measure the achievement of the precise positioning of the two spacecraft.

Proba-3 facts and figures
Launch date: Mid 2022
Mass: Coronagraph spacecraft 340 kg; Occulter spacecraft 200 kg
Orbit: High Earth orbit, 19.7 hours orbital period, 60 530 km apogee, 600 km perigee
Instrument: External coronagraph
Ground station: Redu, Belgium

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