[Via Satellite 06-23-2015] Arianespace orbited the Copernicus Earth observation program’s Sentinel 2A satellite June 22 from French Guiana aboard a Vega light-lift launch vehicle. From a Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 780 km, the 1,140-kg satellite will join the Sentinel 1A radar satellite launched April last year.
Built by Airbus Defence and Space, Sentinel 2A has high-resolution and multispectral capabilities across a 290-kilometer-wide coverage path. Sentinel 2A has a design life of seven years and three months, and can leverage the European Data Relay System (EDRS) laser communication network.
The Sentinel 2A mission is the second Vega launch of 2015, following the February Intermediate Experimental Vehicle (IXV) mission, and fifth overall as Arianespace ramps up the program. The next Vega mission is the LISA Pathfinder — a European spacecraft to validate the concept of low-frequency gravitational wave detection. Arianespace anticipates launching the LISA Pathfinder before the end of the year. The company’s next launch is a July 8 Ariane 5 mission to orbit Eumetsat’s MSG 4 meteorological platform and the Star One C4 telecommunications satellite for Embratel Star One.