The following is a statement issued by Arianespace.
Flight VV16 has been pushed back several times, notably due to the persistence of exceptionally unfavorable winds aloft at the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.
With this mission, Arianespace is underscoring its comprehensive range of innovative and competitive services to address the nano- and microsatellite market sub-segment, serving both institutional and commercial needs.
Arianespace has decided to resume launch preparation operations for Vega Flight VV16, aiming for a launch window between September 1 and September 4. Models of observed winds and the latest readings indicate a more than 90% chance of being able to conduct the launch into polar orbit during this window while meeting range safety regulations.
For Arianespace’s sixth mission in 2020, and its first Vega flight of the year, the company will orbit 53 satellites for 21 customers on the Proof of Concept (PoC) launch for the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS). Flight VV16’s satellite payloads will serve a range of applications, including Earth observation, telecommunications, science, technology and education.
Flight VV16 will be performed from the Vega Launch Complex (SLV) in Kourou, French Guiana.
This Arianespace concept – with multiple small satellites from 1 kg. to 500 kg. being flown together on Vega with the objective of sharing the launch cost – has been developed with the support of European Space Agency (ESA) and Avio. The satellite dispenser is an ESA product developed by Avio under ESA leadership and is built by the Czech company SAB Aerospace s.r.o. (CZ). Satellite integration has been performed for the first time in Europe (Czech Republic).
The European Union contributed to the financing of this PoC flight.