Proba-V is seated for flight
Proba-V on Vespa adapter
Proba-V atop the Vespa (Vega Secondary Payload Adapter) adapter on 15 April 2013. The minisatellite will ride the adapter to orbit during its flight in May, with its fellow passengers stowed within it: Vietnamís VNREDSat Earth observation mission and Estoniaís ESTCube-1 student nanosatellite, to test electric solar sail technology. The Vega launcher fairing is seen in the background.
Credits: ESA - Karim Mellab
17 April 2013 ESAís Proba-V vegetation-mapping minisatellite has been fitted to the payload adapter and met its fellow passengers for its 2 May flight to orbit on a Vega launcher.
Last week, technicians attached Proba-V to the top of the Vespa adapter, which carries multiple payloads on a single Vega.
The other two satellites flying with Proba-V have now been installed inside Vespa: Vietnamís VNREDSat Earth observation mission and Estoniaís ESTCube-1 student nanosatellite, to test electric solar sail technology.
Proba-V will be the first of the three satellites to be deployed from the Vegaís AVUM upper stage.
Less than a cubic metre in volume, Proba-V is a miniaturised ESA satellite tasked with a full-scale mission: to map land cover and vegetation growth across the entire planet every two days.
A new, advanced version of the ĎVegetationí camera will fly on Proba-V. This is the latest in a series already in service on Franceís full-sized Spot-4 and Spot-5 satellites, which have been observing Earth since 1998.
The minisatellite will provide data to the instrumentís worldwide user community of scientists and service providers as soon as it is commissioned in orbit.
This second Vega flight marks the start of the Vega Research and Technology Accompaniment programme, or VERTA, to demonstrate the flexibility and versatility of the vehicle. At a planned minimum of two launches per year, the programme will allow the smooth transition of Vega into commercial exploitation.