Session

Technical Session V: From Earth to Orbit

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Abstract

Arianespace pioneered dual and multiple launches of small satellites (“smallsats”) since its founding over three decades ago. The experience gathered through over 200 multi-payload commercial missions has provided key insights into making smallsat launches a viable business. Recently, two new launch systems were added to the Arianespace family at the Guiana Space Center (“CSG”) in South America. The legendary Soyuz and new lightweight Vega launch systems are opening up new opportunities for smallsats. Both the Soyuz and Vega carried out successful missions with smallsats including: the Pléiades mission with ASAP-S, aboard the second Soyuz flight from CSG (VS-02) in December 2011, the maiden Vega flight (VV-01) in February 2012 with LARES and a variety of smallsats and cubesats, as well as the second Vega flight with Proba V, VNREDsat-1 and ESTCube-1. Future Soyuz and Vega launches from the CSG in 2014 and beyond, will add invaluable experience for co-manifesting and orbiting smallsats. Over the past 32 years Arianespace has learned important lessons regarding scheduling, contracting, technical complexity and the need for back-up planning when launching smallsats. In the future, increasing launch rates for Soyuz and Vega in the 2014-2020 timeframe should provide critical new capacity for the smallsat sector.

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Aug 13th, 3:45 PM

Experience Launching Smallsats with Soyuz & Vega from the Guiana Space Center

Arianespace pioneered dual and multiple launches of small satellites (“smallsats”) since its founding over three decades ago. The experience gathered through over 200 multi-payload commercial missions has provided key insights into making smallsat launches a viable business. Recently, two new launch systems were added to the Arianespace family at the Guiana Space Center (“CSG”) in South America. The legendary Soyuz and new lightweight Vega launch systems are opening up new opportunities for smallsats. Both the Soyuz and Vega carried out successful missions with smallsats including: the Pléiades mission with ASAP-S, aboard the second Soyuz flight from CSG (VS-02) in December 2011, the maiden Vega flight (VV-01) in February 2012 with LARES and a variety of smallsats and cubesats, as well as the second Vega flight with Proba V, VNREDsat-1 and ESTCube-1. Future Soyuz and Vega launches from the CSG in 2014 and beyond, will add invaluable experience for co-manifesting and orbiting smallsats. Over the past 32 years Arianespace has learned important lessons regarding scheduling, contracting, technical complexity and the need for back-up planning when launching smallsats. In the future, increasing launch rates for Soyuz and Vega in the 2014-2020 timeframe should provide critical new capacity for the smallsat sector.