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Arianespace to Launch PLATiNO 1 & 2 on Vega and Vega C

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
January 6, 2022
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Vega rocket in flight (Credit: Arianespace)
  • PLATiNO 1 and 2 are Earth observation satellites that will be launched on a Sun-synchronous orbit.
  • Both small satellites are due to be launched between 2022 and 2024.
  • PLATiNO is an all-electric multi-purpose small satellite platform developed in Italy, suitable for a wide range of applications (e.g. Optical, SAR, Telecom, etc.)

Évry-Courcouronnes, France, January 6, 2022 (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace has been awarded a launch contract by SITAEL, with the Italian Space Agency (ASI) as the final customer, to orbit PLATiNO 1 & 2 satellites, between 2022 and 2024 on Vega and Vega C. PLATiNO 1 and 2 are Earth observation small satellites operating on Sun-synchronous orbits. PLATiNO 1 will embark a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), operating in the X band, while PLATiNO 2 will carry an optical thermal instrument.

“We are very proud of this new launch contract, which underlines the capacity of Arianespace’s launch solutions, here with Vega and Vega C, to address institutional needs at the most competitive conditions, even for very demanding missions within the 100-500kg class”, Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace, declared. “This agreement also demonstrates Arianespace’s capability to support the development of new space initiatives embedded by governments and European institutions”.

PLATiNO is a versatile, multi-mission, high-tech, and all-Italian platform suitable for a wide set of applications that will be equipped with various instruments – both radar and optical – which guarantee optimal resolutions and an on-board computer capable of acquiring and downloading a large number of images.

The PLATiNO platform has been developed by a temporary consortium established between SITAEL, Leonardo, Thales Alenia Space (a joint venture between Thales -67% and Leonardo -33%) and Airbus Defense and Space; it has been designed to support a wide range of missions in different operational scenarios supporting from Earth observation to telecommunications and scientific missions. This platform ensures a reduction of development and operational costs within a frame of an extremely competitive market, supporting a strategic placement of the Italian industries in a sector where new space systems such as megaconstellations are arising.