OPTSAT-3000 and Venµs satellites installed on Vega rocket for upcoming launch
The OPTSAT-3000 and Venµs Earth observation satellites have been integrated into their payload fairing and installed on a Vega rocket ahead of its launch from Kourou, French Guiana, early next month.
The satellites are currently being topped off the Vega launch vehicle, which features three solid-propellant stages and a liquid bipropellant upper stage.
Satellite installation will follow the final preparations and checkout of the rocket, which was developed by Arianespace.
Marking the tenth mission for Vega since its entry in 2012, the mission will see the rocket's lower payload position carry the Vegetation and Environment on a New Micro Satellite (Venµs), an Earth observation and exploratory mission for the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) and France’s CNES space agency.
Expected to help the Israeli Ministry of Science & Technology, Venµs is the country's first spacecraft created for environmental research purposes.
With a 264kg liftoff mass, Venµs was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries’ Space Division, with Rafael providing the propulsion system.
CNES is in charge of the satellite’s multispectral camera, its image programming and processing, as well as the distributing ground station.
Once launched, Venµs will study the evolution of the Earth’s vegetation during its scientific mission.
The satellite’s technological mission will provide in-flight qualification of the Israeli Electrical Propulsion System, based on Hall-Effect thrusters.
The OPTSAT-3000 satellite is a part of Italian Ministry of Defence.
Developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) on the basis of agreements signed between the Italian and Israeli governments, the satellite will help the national defence entities with high-resolution images from any part of the world.