Vega completes 14th successful launch - Orbits Italy’s PRISMA satellite

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On the night of 21-22 March, Vega accomplished a flawless launch from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), orbiting the PRISMA satellite (PRecursore IperSpettrale della Missione Applicativa) built by prime contractor OHB Italia for the Italian space agency ASI. The launch was the third this year from the CSG and the first for Vega, marking the vehicle’s 14th straight success since its maiden flight in 2012.

Weighing 879 kilograms at lift-off and with an expected service life of five years, PRISMA is ASI’s latest Earth-observation satellite. It was placed into a Sun-synchronous low Earth orbit at an altitude of 615 kilometers.

OHB Italia was responsible for overall program management, planning, systems engineering, development and integration of the spacecraft bus and validation activities. Leonardo was responsible for design, development, integration, testing and calibration of the hyperspectral sensor and panchromatic camera.

PRISMA will serve key applications for Italy’s national security and environmental monitoring, providing capabilities tailored to resource management, crop identification and classification, and tackling pollution.

After this latest success for Vega, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I am delighted to see this 14th successful flight for Vega, which confirms our launcher’s ability to serve the market and shows the excellence of our launch base. I would like to congratulate all of the teams to whom we owe this latest success for Vega, at ESA, Arianespace, ASI, Avio, OHB Italia and Leonardo, and of course at CNES, whose technical and operational prowess were once again on show.