The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Proba-2 satellite, one of the smallest satellites ever built, is ready to be shipped to its Russian launch site.

ESA has completed development and testing of the satellite, the second in ESA’s Project for On-Board Autonomy series after Proba-1.

ESA director of the technical and quality management directorate Michel Courtois said that the mission served as a test bed for a range of space technologies.

The satellite carries 17 new technological developments and four scientific experiments focused on solar and space weather observations.

Other Proba-2 instruments include sun monitoring instruments and instruments for detecting the radiation and plasma environment around the spacecraft.

The satellite has been developed under the ESA General Studies Technology Programme, which focuses on development of flight hardware.

To reduce mission costs, the satellite will ride alongside ESA’s soil moisture and ocean salinity earth explorer satellite on the same launch vehicle scheduled for lift-off in November 2009.

Proba-2 will be followed by the next two in the series, the Proba-3 formation flying demonstrator and Proba-V vegetation monitoring mission.