Arianespace will launch a Russian-built Soyuz rocket with the CSO-2 Earth observation satellite for the French space agency CNES Tuesday 29 December, and you can watch it live here, courtesy of Arianespace. Removal is set to 11:42 AM EST (1642 GMT) of the Guyana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.
Arianespace’s launch webcast is now underway, with live commentary to begin 11:25 AM EST (1625 GMT).
Today’s launch will be the 10th and final launch of 2020 by Arianespace. It is also the 25th flight of a Soyuz rocket from the South American spacecraft and the fifth Arianespace Soyuz flight of 2020.
CSO-2 (also known in French as Composante Spatiale Optique 2) is the second satellite for the growing constellation of CNES ‘optical space component that studies the earth from above. CSO-2 is the second of three planned naval satellites, which will use three satellites in different polar orbits to observe the Earth for French defense and security officials.
CSO-2’s mission is primarily one of identification, while CSO-1 and CSO-3 will be used for reconnaissance according to Arianespace.
For its 10th and final launch of the year – and the fifth in 2020 with the Soyuz medium launcher – Arianespace is sending the CSO-2 Earth observation satellite, intended for defense and security applications, to the sun-synchronous orbit.
CSO-2 is launched for the French space agency CNES (Center National d’Etudes Spatiales) and the DGA (Direction générale de l’armement) agency for defense, on behalf of the French Ministry of Defense
It will also be the 25th mission that Soyuz has carried out from French Guiana since it started in October 2011 at the Space Center (Guyana).
With this latest launch serving the French defense requirements, as well as the needs of multiple partner countries, Arianespace once again guarantees French and European autonomous access to space – a strategic priority.
CSO-2 is the second satellite of the Optical Space Component (CSO – Composante Spatiale Optique) program, a constellation of three satellites dedicated to Earth observation for defense and security. They are placed at different heights in polar orbits and will perform two different missions: reconnaissance for CSO-1 and CSO-3; and identification for CSO-2.
The French CNES space agency is delegated as the contracting authority for the Optical Space Component program and its mission ground segment, and is also the overall co-architect of the system. CNES is also responsible for orbital positioning, orbital acceptance tests and satellite operation. The DGA is the contracting authority for the construction and maintenance throughout the life of the user segment, and will serve as the interface between the sensors deployed in the space and the operators. The French headquarters of the French army is the operating authority for CSO.
CSO serves as the successor to the Helios 1 and 2 systems and will address France’s operational needs for global intelligence and strategic oversight, knowledge of the geographical environment and support for operational deployments.
As France’s third generation military satellite, CSO has been developed into a national framework and will remain accessible to European partners. Indeed, Germany, Sweden and Belgium have already joined the CSO community, and an agreement with Italy is expected soon.
The CSO-2 satellite will be placed in a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 480 km. It will be used to obtain very high resolution images in the visible and infrared bandwidth, day or night and in fine weather, and using a variety of imaging modes to meet as many operational requirements as possible.
Airbus Defense and Space France are the main contractors of the satellites, while Thales Alenia Space France provides the optical image instrument. CSO-2 is the 130th Airbus Defense and Space satellite launched by Arianespace.
“ISS Live!” Tune in to the space station
Discover what the astronauts and cosmonauts are doing aboard the International Space Station by tuning in to the ISS Live broadcast. Hear conversations between the crew and mission controllers on earth and see how they work within the American segment of the orbital laboratory. If the crew is on duty, you can enjoy live views of the earth from space. You can watch and listen in the window below, courtesy of NASA.
“The International Space Station’s live video contains internal views when the crew is on duty and the earth at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control. This video is only available when the space station is in contact with the During ‘loss of signal’ periods, viewers will see a blue screen.
“Because the station orbits the earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or sunset for about 45 minutes. If the station is in the dark, the video from the external camera may look black, but sometimes it does.” a spectacular view of the lightning or city lights. ”
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