– The European Space Agency (ESA), on behalf of the European Commission, and Arianespace have signed a launch contract for the third radar satellite in the Sentinel-1 mission, Sentinel-1C.
– The launch is scheduled in the first half of 2023 from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
– Sentinel-1C is part of Copernicus, a joint European Union and European Space Agency (ESA) Earth Observation program.
Arianespace has been awarded a launch contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) on behalf of the European Commission, to launch Sentinel-1C in the first half of 2023 on Vega-C. The satellite, weighing around 2.3 metric tons, will be placed in a Sun-synchronous orbit with an altitude around 690 km.
“We are very proud of this new launch contract for the European Commission and the European Space Agency; it underlines our long-standing partnership for the success of Copernicus,” said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace. “For Arianespace, this contract is a sign of the confidence in the Vega-C system and a strong sign of the commitment of European institutions for an autonomous access to space.”
Before Sentinel-1C satellite, both Sentinel-1A and -1B were previously launched with Arianespace in 2014 and 2016. Sentinel-1C will round out the initial capacity offered by the two preceding satellites to offer a comprehensive response to the needs for environmental and security monitoring via spaceborne radar systems. Sentinel satellites are part of the Copernicus program designed to give Europe continuous, independent and reliable access to Earth observation data.
Copernicus, one of the flagships of the European Union Space Programme, presently includes eight Sentinel satellites: Sentinel-1A and -1B radar imaging satellites, Sentinel-2A and -2B optical imaging satellites, Sentinel-3A and -3B for ocean and atmosphere monitoring; Sentinel-5P enables monitoring the quality of air, while Sentinel-6 is monitoring sea levels. Other Sentinels are in preparation, such as Sentinel-4, Sentinel-5 and the CO2 monitoring mission, to name a few.
ESA’s new Vega-C launcher, built by Avio (Colleferro, Italy) as prime contractor, has been specifically upgraded to launch satellites of the class of Sentinel-1C and it is perfectly suited to serve the Earth Observation market because of its performance and versatility. With Vega-C and Ariane 6, Arianespace is able to offer the best possible solutions to orbit all kind of payloads for any range of applications.