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Slovenia’s SPACE-SI Selects Arianespace Vega SLV For NEMO-HD Microsatellite Launch

The integrated NEMO-HD satellite in SFL clean room. Photograph courtesy of UTIAS.

Arianespace has been chosen by the Slovenian Centre of Excellence for Space Sciences and Technologies (SPACE-SI) to launch the Next-Generation Earth Monitoring and Observation High-Definition (NEMO-HD) microsatellite on the Vega launch vehicle as part of the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) Proof of Concept (POC) flight in 2019.

NEMO-HD, the microsatellite for Earth monitoring and observation in high-definition, will be capable of performing real-time imaging and video streaming over Slovenia and other regions.

In addition, the spacecraft is designed for remote observation. The satellite will be operated by the Slovenian Centre of Excellence for Space Sciences and Technologies, and was developed in collaboration with the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies – Space Flight Laboratory (UTIAS – SFL).

As the result of NEMO-HD’s booking on the SSMS POC flight, the Vega launch vehicle’s payload capacity for the mission has been filled – except for last-minute customers willing to book a port for cubesat deployers.

Vega’s POC flight will be the first mission for SSMS – a program initiated by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2016 with the contribution of the European Commission. For all European partners involved, its purpose is to perfectly address the burgeoning microsatellite market for both institutional and commercial needs with a new rideshare concept on the Vega light launcher.

Vega is part of the Arianespace launcher family, along with the Ariane 5 heavy launcher and the medium-lift Soyuz; all three are operated from the Guiana Space Centre. The industrial prime contractor for Vega is Avio, based in Colleferro, Italy.

“With NEMO-HD in the orbit, we will achieve a very compact and cost effective end-to-end solution for interactive remote sensing combining the agile microsatellite with the mobile ground station system STREAM 54 and the advance data processing chain STORM”, said Prof. Tomaz Rodic, CEO of SPACE- SI. “Vega SSMS concept is ideally suited to support our mission”.

“We are excited to welcome SPACE-SI to the Arianespace family with this contract to launch NEMO-HD aboard Vega,” said Stephane Israel, CEO of Arianespace. “Vega – with its remarkable record – has become a perfectly tailored solution for access to space for small payloads.”

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