Skip to main content
VV23 graphics from Arianespace

The next launch by European launch provider Arianespace is targeted on Friday 6 October at 10:36 p.m. local time (Saturday 7 October at 01:36 a.m. UTC) from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. The mission, called VV23, will place its passengers into sun-synchronous orbit.

This is the penultimate flight of the original Vega rocket that made its first flight in 2012 and will be replaced with larger Vega-C.

The main passenger of this flight is  THEOS-2, a high-resolution Earth observation optical satellite, part of the next-generation national geo-information system provided by Airbus Defence and Space to support the Kingdom of Thailand’s key development priorities.

The secondary payload is FORMOSAT-7R/TRITON, developed by the Taiwanese Space Agency (TASA), is equipped with the Global Navigation Satellite System-Reflectometry (GNSS-R), which will scientists calculate the wind field over the oceans.

Additionally, Vega carries ten auxiliary payloads for six different clients, including one from our Estonian friends: ESTCube-2 was designed and manufactured by the University of Tartu (Estonia) and it hosts an experimental plasma brake from Finland. It will demonstrate deorbiting technology and qualify a deep-space nanospacecraft platform for future missions that will use the electric solar wind sail.


ANSER (Advanced Nanosatellite Systems for Earth observation Research) LEADER, ANSER FOLLOWER 1 and ANSER FOLLOWER 2. This cluster of three cubestats working together to study and monitor the quality of inland (reservoirs) water over Iberian Peninsula is led by the Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial. The launch services is funded by the IOD/IOV program of the European Union.

Read more about the mission from Arianespace and watch the launch online in Saturday 7 October night at 01:36 a.m. UTC). More info about ESTCube-2 is here and story about the plasma brake is here.