Arianespace announced on 3 May that it had been selected by SITAEL to launch the first small satellite for delivery of STRIVING services on its Small Spacecraft Mission Service Proof of Concept (SMSS POC) flight on a Vega in 2019.  The flight will be flown from Kourou in French Guiana.

Built by SITAEL using its S-75 microsat platform, the first STRIVING satellite will weigh approximately 70 kg. at launch and is designed to have a nominal service life of at least two years once positioned in a sun-synchronous orbit at 500 km.

STRIVING is a new one-stop-shop commercial service offered to clients for the testing of their innovative technologies on the host STRIVING satellite in orbit. SITAEL, the Space Mission Provider (SMP), acts as a single interface to customers, leading an industrial team composed also by IMT, Planetek and Tyvak International.  The service infrastructure is currently under development within a public-private partnership between ESA/ASI and SITAEL in the frame of the ARTES PIONEER Initiative.

The Vega launch vehicle blasts-off from Kourou carrying the Mohammed VI-A spacecraft for Morocco. Courtesy of Arianespace

The VEGA SSMS POC flight is proving popular has later in the month Arianespace announced ISIS – Innovative Solutions In Space –  joined the group of customers who have signed contracts to launch payloads on Vega’s Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) Proof Of Concept flight (POC flight) in early 2019.  ISIS’ small satellites will be orbited on Vega from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The contract was signed with ISL – Innovative Space Logistics B.V., the launch services subsidiary of ISIS. This agreement includes a QuadPack deployer for multiple CubeSats on the Vega SSMS POC flight, along with options for several microsatellites and more QuadPack deployers for the SSMS POC mission – as well as for subsequent Vega SSMS launches.

During early May, Arianespace also signed a contract with satellite deployment firm D-Orbit for a similar reservation on the SSMS POC launch for its ION cubesat carrier.