Launch of next Pleiades Neo satellites delayed

By on 29 November, 2022

The Pleiades Neo 5 and 6 satellites being placed inside the launch vehicle’s payload fairing earlier in 2022.

Arianespace has announced a one-month delay for the launch of the next two Pleiades Neo satellites, following the discovery of ‘defective equipment’ in their Vega C launch vehicle.

The problem came to light during arming of the rocket prior to launch.

“In order to replace the equipment, the upper composite of the launcher will be taken back to the payload preparation facilities and the payload fairing will be opened for the intervention,” Arianespace said in a statement.

Originally due for launch on 25 November, the flight, designated VV22, is now scheduled for 20 December.

Pleiades Neo 5 and 6, funded, manufactured and to be operated by Airbus, are the two final satellites of the Pleiades Neo constellation

The first satellite, Pleiades Neo 3, was successfully placed into orbit by Vega Flight 18 on 28 April 2021, and the second, Pleiades Neo 4, by Vega Flight 19 on 16 August 2021.

The constellation will enable imaging of any point of the globe, several times per day, at 30cm resolution.

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