Vega Successfully Orbits VENµS and OPTSAT-3000 Satellites on Its Tenth Flight

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On Tuesday, August 1, Vega accomplished a flawless launch from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), orbiting the VENµS and OPTSAT-3000 satellites. The launch, conducted on behalf of CNES and the Israel Space Agency (ISA), and on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Defense, was the eighth this year from the CSG and marks the tenth flight of Vega, orbiting its seventh Earth-observing satellite.

As climate concerns become ever more pressing, CNES is continuing to conceive new tools for observing climate change. Developed jointly with the Israel Space Agency (ISA) and the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the VENµS vegetation-monitoring satellite is at the cutting edge of innovation. Thanks to its multispectral high spatial resolution (five meters) and high revisit capability (every two days) covering 110 sites of scientific interest, VENµS will yield a rich harvest of data for scientists and the entire international space community. For CNES, working with Israel on such an ambitious project offered a great opportunity for teaming world-class engineers and scientists. Monitoring of the planet’s land surfaces, the study of interactions with human activities, validation of models based on natural and cultivated ecosystems, and improvement of carbon cycle modelling are among the mission’s many goals. VENµS data will be used to improve land cover maps and to track changes with a view to enhancing climate prediction scenarios.

After this latest successful launch, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall, underlining VENµS’ key role supporting climate actions and France’s commitment at the highest political level in this area, welcomed this tenth flawless launch for Vega, in which CNES’s four field centres were instrumental. With its eighth launch this year, the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) has confirmed its status as the best launch base in the world. The Launch Vehicles Directorate (DLA) played a key role in developing Vega. The Toulouse Space Centre (CST) worked with Israeli partners to design and develop VENµS. The CNES’s Head Office leads the cooperative efforts with Israel, one of its most emblematic and most successful partnerships.