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Satellite Communications Technology

SPACE-SI selects Arianespace to launch the NEMO-HD microsat on VEGA

(3 December 2018 - Arianespace) Arianespace has been chosen by the Slovenian Centre of Excellence for Space Sciences and Technologies (SPACE-SI) to launch the NEMO-HD microsat on the Vega launch vehicle as part of the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) Proof of Concept (POC) flight in 2019.

NEMO-HD, the microsatellite for Earth monitoring and observation in high-definition, will be capable of performing real-time imaging and video streaming over Slovenia and other regions. In addition, the spacecraft is designed for remote observation. The satellite will be operated by the Slovenian Centre of Excellence for Space Sciences and Technologies, and was developed in collaboration with the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies – Space Flight Laboratory (UTIAS – SFL).

As the result of NEMO-HD’s booking on the SSMS POC flight, the Vega launch vehicle’s payload capacity for the mission has been filled – except for last-minute customers willing to book a port for cubesat deployers.

Vega’s POC flight will be the first mission for SSMS – a program initiated by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2016 with the contribution of the European Commission. For all European partners involved, its purpose is to perfectly address the burgeoning microsatellite market for both institutional and commercial needs with a new rideshare concept on the Vega light launcher.

Vega is part of the Arianespace launcher family, along with the Ariane 5 heavy launcher and the medium-lift Soyuz; all three are operated from the Guiana Space Center. The industrial prime contractor for Vega is Avio, based in Colleferro, Italy.

“With NEMO-HD in the orbit, we will achieve a very compact and cost effective end-to-end solution for interactive remote sensing combining the agile microsatellite with the mobile ground station system STREAM 54 and the advance data processing chain STORM”, said prof. Tomaž Rodič, CEO of SPACE- SI. “Vega SSMS concept is ideally suited to support our mission”.

“We are excited to welcome SPACE-SI to the Arianespace family with this contract to launch NEMO-HD aboard Vega,” said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace. “Vega – with its remarkable record – has become a perfectly tailored solution for access to space for small payloads.”

About Arianespace

Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 580 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 15 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.