Due the poor weather conditions launch was postponed for today and is set to launch window starting at 21:02 GMT today.

UPDATE: launched was postponed to Sunday, 24th April 2016 due the bad weather in French Guiana Space Center.

Arianespace is targeting for today to reach LEO orbit during VS14 flight with their Soyuz-2.1A equipped with Fregat upper stage. This time under payload fairing satellites with summary weight of 3099 kg will start their space journey. Sentinel-1B along with MICROSCOPE, OUFTI-1, E-st@r-2, and AAUSAT-4 will reach orbit during first flight of Soyuz-2.1A in 2016.

Sentinel-1B is remote sensing satellite manufactured by Thales Alenia Space under ESA Copernicus Earth monitoring program. Based on Prima bus satellite with weight of 2164 kg (according to Arianespace) is equipped with C band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) with resolution on Earth surface fitting in range between 5 m and 25 m. Its mission is planned for 7 years; satellite will help in monitoring sea ice zones and Arctic region, observing land surface and detecting potential risk of its motion, mapping forest, water and soil along with supporting emergency services in crisis situations. OUFTI-1 (Orbital Utility For Telecommunications / Technology Innovations 1) is 1 kg (10 cm x 10 cm x 11 cm) Cubesat satellite built by students of Université de Liège. Its mission is devoted to testing possibility of using D-STAR communication protocol in space and testing new electrical power system developed by Thales Alenia Space (D-STAR is protocol for digital data and voice protocol used in amateur radio). E-st@r-2 is second Cubesat (10 cm x 10 cm x 11 cm with 1 kg of weight) from series of satellites designed and manufactured by Aerospace System Engineering Team on Politecnico di Torino (Technical University of Turin). It was developed to perform tests of an active Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem (ADCS). OUFTI-1 and E-st@r-2 were chosen by ESA to “Fly Your Satellite!” initiative. Next from additional payload is MICROSCOPE. It is research satellite designed by CNES and based on Myriade bus, which was extended and modified to manage with 303 kg weight of satellite. CNES placed on MICROSCOPE scientific experiment devoted to Equivalence Principle (EP). Satellite will remain in space for two years. AAUSAT 4 is another satellite under “Fly Your Satellite!” It is 1 kg (10 cm x 10 cm x 11 cm) Cubesat designed and manufactured on Danish Aalborg University. Powered with solar arrays satellite will test AIS (Automated Identification System) receiver which was built by students of Aalborg University.

According to Arianespace VS14 have three objectives: placing Sentinel-1B on LEO at an altitude of 686 km with an inclination of 98.18° degrees. Place MICROSCOPE satellite on altitude of 711 km with an inclination of 98.23°. Last objective is lifting all three Cubesats from “Fly Your Satellite!” on LEO with perigee at 453 km and an apogee at 665 km. Launch will be performed from Soyuz Launch Complex (ELS) in Sinnamary, French
Guiana. Flight plan is given below:

  • T+0’00’ at 21:02:13 GMT liftoff
  • T+1’58” separation of the first stage
  • T+3’29” separation of the payload fairing
  • T+4’48” separation of the second stage
  • T+8’49” separation of the third stage
  • T+9’49” first firing of Fregat engine
  • T+20’14” end of the first firing
  • T+23’35” Sentinel-1B will separate from Fregat/ASAP-S
  • T+2h0’05” second fire of Fregat will start
  • T+2h0’18” end of second firing
  • T+2h48’11” deploying of OUFTI-1, E-st@r-2, AAUSAT-4 from ASAP-S auxiliary payload platform
  • T+2h49’01” ASAP-S will separate
  • T+3h32’35” starting Fregat engine for the third time
  • T+3h32’47” end of third firing
  • T+3h57’46” Fregat will start engine again
  • T+3h58’02” end of the fourth firing
  • T+4h00’52” Fregat will deploy MICROSCOPE satellite
  • T+4h15’55” fifth firing starting
  • T+4h16’24” end of last firing
  • deorbitation of Fregat upper stage