Arianespace launched a new French Army reconnaissance satellite in orbit on Tuesday (29 December), in reference to the 2020 European launch provider’s final mission.
Russian made Soyuz missile The satellite, named Optical Space Component 2 (or Composante Spatiale Optique 2, CSO-2, in French) was launched from Guyana Space Center In Kourou, French Guiana in South America. Takeoff at 11:42 AM EST (1642 GMT) after a one-day delay due to bad weather.
CSO-2 is a next-generation Earth imaging satellite designed to help replace the old HELIOS 1 and 2 systems in France.
Related: Top 10 spaceflight stories of 2020
“CSO-2 is the second in a constellation of three identical military surveillance satellites that will operate in different polar orbits to accomplish two missions: reconnaissance CSO-1 and CSO-3, and the identification of CSO-2, which will join CSO-1 launched in December 2018,” officials at The French Space Agency, which is supervising the mission, He said in a statement.
Built by Airbus, 7,852 lb. (3,562 kg) CSO-2 will orbit Earth at a distance of about 300 miles (480 km), less than its predecessor CSO-1, which had an orbit of 500 miles (800 km). The satellite was successfully deployed about an hour after takeoff.
“It will obtain high-resolution day and night images and a clear weather image in visible and infrared rays in a range of viewing modes to serve a wide range of operational requirements,” the National Center for Space Studies officials wrote in the statement.
According to Spaceflight Now, The CSO satellites are expected to have an accuracy of about 14 inches (35 cm) from this 500-mile orbit. CSO-2 is designed to last at least 10 years in orbit, CNES officials said.
The French government is said to be spending $ 1.5 billion on a new surveillance satellite program, a cost that includes satellites and ground systems, I mentioned space flight now.
The successful launch of CSO-2 marks the tenth mission of 2020 by Arianespace and the fifth flight of Soyuz this year. But even as the company winds down for this year, it has a series of Ariane 5, Vega and Soyuz flights for 2021, including the long-awaited launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope on October 31.
“The year 2021 is set to be an intense one for Arianespace,” said Stefan Israel, CEO of Arianespace, after the launch. “So, 2021 is set to be very busy indeed which is why, here, we’re going to take a break now at the end of the year.”
Email Tariq Malik at [email protected] or follow him at tariqjmalik. Follow us on Spacedotcom, Facebook, and Instagram.
“Subtly charming problem solver. Extreme tv enthusiast. Web scholar. Evil beer expert. Music nerd. Food junkie.”