Arianespace launched a Vega rocket on a complex mission early this morning that demonstrated the flexibility of its upper stage and multisatellite carrier.
In its first six flights, Vega delivered a wide range of satellites into very different orbits, demonstrating its flexibility.
Liftoff of the seventh mission from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana came at 01:43 GMT on 16 September (03:43 CEST; 22:43 local time on 15 September).
Four SkySat microsatellites for Terra Bella, with a total mass at liftoff of 440 kg, were released into their target orbit about 40 minutes into the mission.
This was followed about 62 minutes later by the release of the 430 kg PeruSAT-1, Peru’s first Earth observation satellite.
Vega is a 30 m-high, four-stage vehicle designed to accommodate small scientific and Earth observation payloads of 300–2500 kg depending on the orbit and altitude.