Watch the Launch

Additional Media

Arianespace Flight VV18 – Pléiades Neo 3 / Norsat-3 / 4 cubesats (EN)

On Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 10:50 pm local time (01:50 UTC on Thursday, April 29), Arianespace’s first Vega mission of the year will lift off from the Gu...

Pléiades Neo 3

Circle Image

Overview

Destination: Sun-Synchronous Orbit
Mission: Government/Top Secret

Sun-Synchronous Orbit Ariane Launch Area 1 Kourou, French Guiana

Pléiades Neo is a constellation of four optical high-resolution Earth observation satellites built and operated by Airbus. It is a dual purpose constellation, serving both civilian and military purposes. Pléiades Neo 3 is the first satellite in the constellation which is to deliver imagery with spatial resolution of 30 cm. It is launched along with several rideshare payloads.

Infographic

Geoff Barrett is an independent graphic artist that creates launch infographics for space flight events.

Updates

Nosu • April 29, 2021, 3:40 a.m.

Successful launch


spacevogel • April 23, 2021, 1:50 p.m.

Launch date is confirmed by Arianespace.


Nosu • April 13, 2021, 8:47 p.m.

Launch is now planned for Apr 28


Vega

Family: Vega
Configuration:

Vega is the smallest lifter in the current Arianespace family.

See Vega Details
Specifications
  • Stages
    4
  • Length
    29.9 m
  • Diameter
    3.025 m
  • Fairing Diameter
    2.6 m
  • Launch Mass
    137 T
  • Thrust
    2974 kN
Family
  • Name
    Vega
  • Family
    Vega
  • Variant
  • Alias
  • Full Name
    Vega
Payload Capacity
  • Launch Cost
    $37000000
  • Low Earth Orbit
    1500 kg
  • Geostationary Transfer Orbit
  • Direct Geostationary
  • Sun-Synchronous Capacity
    1450 kg

Arianespace

Circle Image
CEO: Stéphane Israël Founded: 1980 Successes: 122 Failures: 7 Pending: 24

Agency Type: Commercial

Arianespace SA is a multinational company founded in 1980 as the world's first commercial launch service provider. It undertakes the production, operation, and marketing of the Ariane programme. Their vehicles launch exclusively from French Guiana in South America.

INFO WIKI

Related News

Spaceflight Now

“Big relief” as Europe’s Vega rocket returns to service with successful launch

A European Vega rocket deployed six commercial satellites in orbit, including a new Airbus-built eye-in-the-sky for high-resolution Earth-imaging, on a successful launch from French Guiana on Wednesday night after two of the last three Veg…

SpaceNews

Vega return to flight creates competition for 30-centimeter satellite imagery

Europe’s small launch vehicle Vega returned to flight April 28, carrying a next-generation imaging satellite for Airbus Defence and Space that has been held back by multiple delays.

Spaceflight Now

Vega rocket’s return-to-flight launch set for Wednesday night

Six satellites are set to ride a light-class European Vega rocket into orbit from French Guiana on Wednesday night, the first Vega launch since a failure last year that officials attributed to human error.

NASA Spaceflight

Arianespace launches Vega’s return to flight with rideshare mission

After a five month grounding, Vega returned to flight following a launch failure in November 2020 — the rocket’s second in as many years.  For its 18th mission, Vega launched the Pléiades-Neo 3 satellite along with several smaller rideshar…

SpaceNews

Vega rocket passes readiness review for April return to flight

Avio spokesperson Francesco Delorenzo told SpaceNews that Vega was cleared for the upcoming Vega VV18 mission during a March 3 flight readiness review.

Kourou, French Guiana

Ariane Launch Area 1


Hapith I
Failure
1 day, 13 hours ago
Test Flight
Pad 1 - Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex, South Australia

The first Hapith I launch will be testing TiSPACE's hybrid rocket engine technology in preparation for the future Hapith V launch vehicle. Targeting …


Falcon 9
Success
1 day, 20 hours ago
Inspiration4
Launch Complex 39A - Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA

Inspiration4 is the world’s first all-commercial astronaut mission to orbit. Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, is donating the thre…


Soyuz 2.1b/Fregat-M
Success
3 days, 2 hours ago
OneWeb 10
31/6 - Baikonur Cosmodrome, Republic of Kazakhstan

A batch of 34 satellites for the OneWeb satellite constellation, which is intended to provide global Internet broadband service for individual consum…


Falcon 9
Success
3 days, 16 hours ago
Starlink Group 2-1
Space Launch Complex 4E - Vandenberg SFB, CA, USA

A batch of 51 satellites for Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Soyuz
Success
1 week, 1 day ago
Razbeg 1 (Kosmos 2551)
43/4 (43R) - Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russian Federation

The Russian Razbeg 1 is small military satellite optical reconnaissance satellite. It was built by NPP VNIIEM. It is likely the same satellite ide…


Long March 3
Success
1 week, 1 day ago
ChinaSat 9B
Launch Complex 2 (LC-2) - Xichang Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China

Zhongxing-9B (ChinaSat 9B) is a Chinese communications satellite, that will replace the Zhongxing-9A satellite in orbit. The latter was launched in 2…


Long March 4C
Success
1 week, 3 days ago
Gaofen-5-02
Launch Complex 9 - Taiyuan, People's Republic of China

Gaofen (GF) is a series of Chinese civilian remote sensing satellites for the state-sponsored program China High-definition Earth Observation System …


Firefly Alpha
Failure
2 weeks ago
Maiden Flight
Space Launch Complex 2W - Vandenberg SFB, CA, USA

First flight of the new Firefly Alpha small sat launcher developed by Firefly Aerospace. It will carry Firefly’s DREAM (Dedicated Research & Educatio…


Falcon 9
Success
2 weeks, 5 days ago
Dragon CRS-2 SpX-23
Launch Complex 39A - Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA

SpaceX will launch the cargo variant of its Dragon 2 spacecraft on their 23rd commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station…


Astra Rocket 3
Failure
2 weeks, 5 days ago
STP-27AD1
LP-3B - Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska, USA

Space Force test payload contracted through the Defense Innovation Unit’s Other Transaction Agreement with Astra Space.