ArianeSpace lifts off a Soyuz 2.1a for CSO-2

Space Coast, FL – ArianeSpace lifted off a Soyuz 2.1a rocket from ELS, Sinnamary, French Guiana. It’s mission, to deliver the Optical Space Component 2 satellite, or CSO-2 (CSO – Composante Spatiale Optique), into polar orbit.

Fairing that encases CSO-2 satellite
The integrated Soyuz “upper composite” for Flight VS25 consists of the CSO-2 Earth observation satellite, the Fregat upper stage and the payload fairing. Flight VS25. CSO-2 | photo: CNES/ArianceSpace – S. Martin

CSO-2 satellite

The CSO-2 sat is the second satellite of the Optical Space Component program. This is will be a constellation of three satellites dedicated to Earth observation for defense and security. The satellites will be placed into polar orbits at different altitudes. There, they will carry out two different missions: reconnaissance for CSO-1 and CSO-3; and identification for CSO-2.

CSO-2 in polar orbit render ArianceSpace
CSO-2 satellite render in polar orbit over Earth | ArianeSpace/Airbus

The CSO-2 satellite has been placed in Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 480 km. It will be used to acquire extremely-high-resolution images in the visible and infrared bandwidths, day or night and in fair weather, and using a variety of imaging modes to meet as many operational requirements as possible.

The Launch Vehicle, Soyuz 2.1a

Introduced in 1966, Soyuz has been the workhorse of the Soviet/Russian space program. As the only manned launch vehicle in Russia and the former Soviet Union, Soyuz meets very high standards of reliability and robustness.

Soyuz 2.1a lifts off from ELS, Sinnamary, French Guiana
Soyuz ascends from French Guiana with the CSO-2 satellite payload on Arianespace’s 10th and final mission of 2020. Flight VS25. CSO-2 | photo: ArianeSpace

The Soyuz version currently offered by Arianespace is a four-stage launch vehicle composed of: four boosters (first stage), a central core (second stage), a third stage, and the restartable Fregat upper stage (fourth stage). It also includes a payload adapter/dispenser and fairing.

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