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LAUNCH PAD
Arianespace to launch OPTSAT 3000 and VENuS satellites
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Feb 20, 2014


File image: OPTSAT 3000.

Arianespace and Italian company CGS S.p.A. announced the launch contract for the OPTSAT 3000 satellite today in Rome. Arianespace also announced that it had signed a launch contract with the Israeli Space Agency for the VENuS satellite.

The two satellites will be orbited together by a Vega launcher in early 2016 from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

The OPTSAT 3000 Earth observation satellite will be built by IAI (Israel Aircraft Industry) for the Italian Ministry of Defense, on behalf of the prime contractor team, CGS S.p.A. and Telespazio (Finmeccanica/Thales). Weighing about 400 kg at launch, it will be placed into a Sun-synchronous orbit.

VENuS (Vegetation and Environment Monitoring on a New Micro Satellite) is an Earth observation mission developed jointly by the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) and the French space agency CNES, within the scope of Europe's Copernicus Earth monitoring program.

The VENuS satellite will be built by IAI. Weighing about 300 kg at launch it will be sent into Sun-synchronous orbit.

Following the contract signature, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stephane Israel said: "We are very proud of our selection for these two missions involving Italy, Israel and France. I would like to thank all of the partners in these two programs - the Italian MoD, CGS and Telespazio, the Israeli Space Agency and CNES - for placing their trust in us.

"With Vega now fully operational, Arianespace can clearly offer all customers a complete range of launch services perfectly tailored to their missions."

.


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