Home / Space force / Arianespace delays Vega launch to avoid unfavorable high-altitude winds – Spaceflight Now

Arianespace delays Vega launch to avoid unfavorable high-altitude winds – Spaceflight Now

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The Falcon Eye 1 statement satellite tv for pc, encapsulated contained in the Vega rocket’s Swiss-made payload fairing, is ready for attachment on high of the launch automobile. Credit score: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photograph Optique Video du CSG – P. Baudon

The launch from French Guiana of a solid-fueled Vega rocket with a European-built surveillance satellite tv for pc for the United Arab Emirates has been delayed 48 hours to Sunday, Arianespace introduced Friday, citing unfavorable high-altitude winds over the spaceport.

The fully-assembled rocket was set for liftoff Friday night time from French Guiana, however a test of climate situations confirmed wind situations aloft weren’t favorable for the launch.

Arianespace rescheduled liftoff of the 98-foot-tall (30-meter) launcher for Sunday at 9:53:03 p.m. EDT (0153:03 GMT Monday) with Falcon Eye 1, a army spy satellite tv for pc for the United Arab Emirates.

Liftoff is ready for 10:53 p.m. native time on the Guiana Area Middle, a European-run area base on the northeastern coast of South America.

The four-stage Vega rocket will place the Falcon Eye 1 spacecraft in a 379-mile-high (611-kilometer) sun-synchronous orbit flying over Earth’s poles, enabling international imaging protection through the satellite tv for pc’s mission.

Falcon Eye 1 is the primary of two Falcon Eye reconnaissance satellites ordered by the UAE underneath an settlement negotiated in 2013. Airbus Protection and Area constructed the 2 satellites, and Thales Alenia Area — normally an Airbus competitor — offered the optical imaging payload for every spacecraft underneath a contract valued at roughly 800 million years, or about $1.1 billion at 2013 change charges.

The Falcon Eye 1 spacecraft was encapsulated contained in the payload fairing of its Vega launcher June 26. Credit score: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photograph Optique Video du CSG – P. Baudon

The settlement was brokered with the backing of the French authorities, however a safety overview by the U.S. authorities delayed the ultimate signature of the contract between the UAE, Airbus and Thales till 2014. The satellites use some U.S.-made parts, prompting the Obama administration to place a brief maintain on the deal till officers in the end authorized the export of the U.S. components to be used by the UAE army.

The Falcon Eye satellites are based mostly on the French Pleiades Earth-imaging satellites launched in 2011 and 2012.

Falcon Eye 1 weighs 2,638 kilos (1,197 kilograms) absolutely fueled for launch on the Vega rocket. The equivalent Falcon Eye 2 spacecraft will launch on one other Vega flight later this 12 months.

Sunday’s launch would be the 15th flight of a Vega rocket, developed primarily in Italy by Avio, since its debut in February 2012. Will probably be the sixth launch by Arianespace this 12 months.

After liftoff from French Guiana, the Vega rocket will head north over the Atlantic Ocean and hearth its three solid-fueled booster phases in succession through the first six-and-a-half minutes of the mission. A liquid-fueled higher stage will ignite two instances to inject Falcon Eye 1 into its focused near-circular orbit.

Deployment of the Falcon Eye 1 spacecraft is deliberate for 57 minutes after liftoff.

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Comply with Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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