Today Arianespace managed to put two satellites to orbit. OPSAT 3000 and VENµS were delivered to their orbits on the top of the Vega (Vettore Europeo di Generazione Avanzata – Advanced Generation European Carrier Rocket) rocket today from Guiana Space Center.
It was second mission of Vega in 2017 after successful delivering to orbit Sentinel-2B on March 7. Two satellites for two different operators but manufactured by same company – IAI – were delivered successfully to Sun Synchronous Orbit after lasting 97 minutes flight.
Rocket was rolled out with satellites under payload fairing on July 18, 2017 and remained at the ELV launch site until August 2. As Vega is solid fueled rocket it was possible to keep it secured with payload and finish all necessary pre flight procedures outside the assembly facility.
Today at 01:58 UTC long for 30 m (with 3 m of diameter) and weighing 137 t Vega lifted off from ELV with weighing 368 kg OPTSAT-3000 and 264 kg VENµS attached to VESPA (Vega Secondary Payload Adaptor). Rocket reached speed of sound at T+40′ and set its course to North. After another 20 seconds rocket reached point where dynamic pressure is in the peak point. At T+2′ first stage was cut off – 87 t of HTPB were burned to provide 2261 kN of thrust. Long for 11.7 m stage separated from Zefiro-23 second stage which ignited its engine immediately after. After another 2 minutes 5 seconds long for 8.39 m Zefiro-23 engine finished providing 861 kN of thrust – 26 t of HTPB were already burned and second stage separated from long for 4.12 m Zefiro-9 third stage. Five seconds later payload fairing separated and at T+7′ third stage was cut off. AVUM upper stage was fired for 6’17” and at T+14’30” RD-843 engine was cut off. After 25 minutes, at 02:39 UTC AVUM fired its engine again for 1’25” to help in leaving parking orbit. At 02:42 UTC after reaching 450 km orbit (97 degrees inclined) OPTSAT-3000 was deployed from VESPA. Third burn of AVUM started at 03:33 UTC and it was followed by fourth burn – both placed AVUM on 720 km orbit. At 03:37 UTC AVUM deployed second satellite – VENµS.
Both satellites were deployed on planned orbits and according to official statements are in good condition.