Vega Launches Mission To Deploy Satellites In Space

In-Depth Look at Satellite Missions Launched by Vega

THEOS-2: Manufactured by Airbus for the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency of Thailand, THEOS-2 is an observation satellite aimed at providing valuable information to the Ministry of Agriculture of Thailand. It will offer data on water resources, weather, and land use to support planning and management.


Previously known as FORMOSAT-7R, Triton is a satellite by the Taiwan Space Agency (TASA). It will gather signals reflecting off the sea surface to aid in calculating wind patterns over the oceans. This data will be shared with Taiwan’s Central Weather Administration, contributing to improved typhoon intensity forecasts and trajectory predictions.

Both satellites were placed in a sun-synchronous orbit, ensuring they pass over the same Earth spot at the same time daily, following the Sun. They are now in free flight, undergoing operational checks.


Vega, ESA’s small launcher operational since 2012, specializes in launching medium-sized satellites into low Earth polar orbits. These orbits are ideal for scientific research, Earth observation, and ride-sharing missions, allowing multiple satellites to be deployed in a single flight. It’s distinct from the newer Vega-C launcher.

On this commercial flight, ten smaller secondary satellites were scheduled to be released into orbit approximately 50 minutes after the primary payloads. Eight of them have been successfully separated, with confirmation pending for the final two cubesats.

Among the secondary missions, ESA participated in five:

Proba-V Companion CubeSat

Flying at 564 km altitude, it will conduct co-observations of global vegetation with Europe’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites, optimizing land cover and vegetation analysis.

PRETTY (Passive REflecTomeTry and dosimetry) CubeSat

Demonstrates the use of global navigation system signals bouncing off Earth to measure sea ice and other phenomena.

CubeSats for Technological Testing

Three missions on this Vega launch are dedicated to the early orbital testing of new technologies aimed at enhancing Europe’s space industry competitiveness. Notably, they include CubeSats for testing disruptive space technologies.


This shoebox-sized satellite will survey Estonian vegetation and carry out the first in-orbit test of an ‘e-sail’ tether, designed to adjust the satellite’s orbit and accelerate its end-of-life phase, contributing to space debris management.

Advanced Nanosatellite Systems for Earth-observation Research (ANSER)

A cluster of three CubeSats that will work together closely in orbit, resembling a single satellite. They will employ air resistance and flaps to control their formation and image Earth in visible and near-infrared wavelengths, offering insights into water bodies’ contents and environmental factors.

These missions showcase the diverse and innovative applications of satellite technology in Earth observation and scientific research.

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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Nook Explorer journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.