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Default Arianespace Flight VS04 - PLEIADES 1B, December 2, 2012
by Notebook 11-30-2012, 12:20 PM

La Revue d'Aptitude au Lancement (RAL) s'est déroulée le jeudi 29 novembre 2012 au Centre Spatial Guyanais et a autorisé les opérations de chronologie pour le Vol Soyuz ST-A – Pléiades 1B.
Pour son quatrième lancement Soyuz depuis le Centre Spatial Guyanais, Arianespace mettra en orbite le satellite Pléiades 1B du CNES. Le satellite Pléiades 1B a été réalisé sous la maitrise d'œuvre d'Astrium.
Avec Soyuz, Ariane 5 et Vega au Centre Spatial Guyanais, Arianespace est le seul opérateur au monde à lancer toutes les charges vers toutes les orbites, des plus petits aux plus grands satellites géostationnaires, des grappes de satellites pour les constellations à la déserte de la Station spatiale internationale.
Le lancement sera effectué depuis l'Ensemble de Lancement Soyuz (ELS) en Guyane française, à un instant précis:

23:02:50 (Heure de Guyane) le vendredi 30 novembre 2012
21:02:50 (Heure de Washington, DC)
02:02:50 (UTC) le samedi 1er décembre 2012
03:02:50 (Heure de Paris)
06:02:50 (Heure de Moscou)

Pour suivre l’événement en direct sur Internet et en haut débit, connectez vous sur le site www.arianespace.com
(commentaires depuis Kourou en français et en anglais à partir de H-20 mn). Le site Arianespace dispose désormais d'une plate-forme d'hébergement mondiale. Suivez également le lancement en direct sur iPad et iPhone (l’application Arianespace est téléchargeable gratuitement sur iTune).

Suivez Arianespace sur Twitter pour les dernières news en temps réel
THE LAUNCH READINESS REVIEW (RAL) took place in Kourou on Thursday November 29, 2012 and authorized count-down operations for the Soyuz – Pléiades 1B launch.For its fourth Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, Arianespace will orbit the Pleiades 1B satellite for French space agency CNES. Pléiades 1B was built by Astrium as prime contractor.
Arianespace is now the only launch services provider in the world capable of launching all types of payloads to all orbits, from the smallest to the largest geostationary satellites, along with clusters of satellites for constellations and missions to support the International Space Station.
The launch will be from the Soyuz Launch Complex (ELS) in Sinnamary, French Guiana. Liftoff is scheduled for Friday, November 30, 2012 at exactly:
11:02:50 pm local time in French Guiana
09:02:50 pm in Washington, D.C.
02:02:50 am UTC on Saturday, December 1, 2012
03:02:50 am in Paris
06:02:50 am in Moscow

Our website www.arianespace.comhas upgraded to high-speed transmission and a full-screen format to make it easier for you to follow the company’s activities and to enjoy future launch webcasts. You can also watch the video transmission live on your iPad or iPhone, the Arianespace App is available on iTune and it’s free.

Last edited by Galactic Penguin SST; 12-01-2012 at 04:04 AM. Reason: New launch time
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:24 PM   #2
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Calendat event

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Old 11-30-2012, 01:40 PM   #3
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Yay, another Soyuz launch, another one out of the Amazon jungle (actually a bit north of that, but it's still pretty close to reality )! Today's launch will see the second of two Pleiades high-resolution Earth observation satellites owned by CNES (the French space agency) lifted into space by the fourth Soyuz rocket launching from French Guiana. The 1 tonne satellite will join Pleiades-1A (launched just less than a year ago from exactly the same place) 700 km above the Earth, providing imagery services to five different European space agencies (France, Austria, Belgium, Spain and Sweden) and three countries' defense ministries (France, Italy and Spain), as well as commercial customers.

Launch location:

Kourou ELS 5°18'18"N 52°50'02"W

Launch dates and times:

Launch times (updated)
Time ZoneAustralia - Sydney/AESTMoscow / MSK/ UTC+4CET UTC+1Universal / UTCWashington / ESTFrench Guiana
Launch time:13:02:5006:02:5003:02:5002:02:5021:02:5023:02:50
on:Dec. 2, 2012Dec. 2, 2012Dec. 2, 2012Dec. 2, 2012Dec. 1, 2012Dec. 1, 2012
*Click here to restart the timer* Pleiades 1B Launch

Live Coverage


Pleiades 1B Earth observation satellite

Pleiades 1B is the second of two dual-use, very-high-resolution satellites in the Pleiades Earth observation system. Both are built by Astrium Satellites in Toulouse for French space agency CNES. The satellite will joined its twin brother Pleiades 1A launched about a year ago.

Orbitsun-synchronous, 695 km altitude
Weight at launch970 kg
Electrical power1,500 W
Design life5 years

Two Pleiades satellites are supposed to work together with SPOT-5 optical observation satellite.

The SPOT-5 optical Earth observation satellite combines the advantages of a relatively wide imaging swath and sub-3-metre resolution. Today, new and evolving civil and military challenges facing Europe call for different levels of image resolution.

The Pleiades optical satellites will provide imagery covering a smaller area but with a resolution of 0.70 m.

Together, SPOT and Pleiades will offer a broader range of complementary data better able to meet the diverse requirements of civil users—for example, cartographers, volcanologists, geophysicists, hydrologists and urban planners—and military users.

The Pleiades optical system is being developed under CNES supervision as part of a joint effort with Italy, alongside the Cosmo-Skymed radar imaging system that is under the responsibility of the Italian space agency (ASI).

This French-Italian cooperation will bring users a richer variety of large and small-area optical and radar imagery than ever before, at high and low resolutions.

The main design drivers for the satellite architecture are the image quality, the agility and the image location accuracy. The image quality drives the instrument size. A high agility requires a very compact design, with a few stiff appendages. As a consequence, the instrument is integrated inside the bus. A high image location accuracy is achieved by minimizing the interface between the instrument and the bus. The star trackers and the gyroscope heads are directly supported by the instrument to avoid any thermal distortion that could be induced by the bus.

The bus structure is build on an hexagonal shape, with three solar arrays at 120 deg, and three star trackers in a quasi tetrahedron configuration, optimizing the attitude determination accuracy. This configuration authorizes accommodation of the instrument focal plane radiator for maximum heat dissipation. An antenna support structure is used to carry the Earth-pointing antennas and for the instrument baffle.

The solar arrays are mounted directly on the bus structure without any drive mechanism to ensure a maximum stability. Their first flexion mode frequency is increased by the use of stiffeners when deployed. Moreover the high compacity and low mass of the satellite (<1000 kg) make it compatible with a large series of low cost small launchers (among them Soyouz and Rockot). The two Pleiades satellites will be launched by Soyouz from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Pleiades 1B
Prime contractor:
EADS Astrium
1000 kg
Panchromatic resolution:
0.7 m at nadir
Multispectral resolution:
4 times panchromatic resolution
20 km at nadir
Sun-synchronous, quasi circular orbit at 694 km altitude
Acquisition capability:
up to 450 images/day
Solar generator power:
1500 W
Instrument TM link rate:
450 Mbits/sec
On-board mass memory:
600 Gbits
5 years

Launch Vehicle:

Prime contractor:
  • Samara Space Sentre (Energia Holding enterprise)
GRAU Index:
  • 14A14
51.1 m
max 10.3 m
Liftoff mass:
313 metric tonnes
Payload mass:
up to 6830 kg (a launch to LEO from Plesetsk)
1st stage (boosters B, V, G, D):
  • 4 X RD-107 engines
  • Propellants (T-1 Kerosene and LOX)
  • Thrust/ISP in vacuum - / 320.2 s
  • Thrust/ISP at sea level 85.6 tonnes / 263.3 s
2nd stage (core A):
  • 1 X RD-108 engine
  • Propellants (T-1 Kerosene and LOX)
  • Thrust/ISP in vacuum 94 tonnes / 320.6 s
  • Thrust/ISP at sea level 80.8 tonnes / 257.7 s
3rd stage (block I):
  • 1 X RD-0110 engine
  • Propellants (T-1 Kerosene and LOX)
  • Thrust/ISP in vacuum 30.38 tonnes / 326 s
Upper Stage:
  • GRAU Index: -
  • Common Name: Fregat (meaning Frigate)
  • Designer & Manufacturer: Lavochkin Association (NPO)
  • Dimensions: Length 2.4 m, Diameter (max) 3.350 m
  • Empty Mass 930 kg
  • Propellants 5250 kg max
  • Main Engine: 1 X S5.92
  • Thrust in vacuum 2.0 tonnes of force (full power)
  • Thrust in vacuum 1.4 tonnes of force (small power)
  • ISP 333.2 s
Payload Fairing:
  • Diameter 3.7 m
  • Length 7.7 m

The launch vehicle's reliability standings (according to http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/log2012.html#rate):

Vehicle     Successes/Tries Realzd Pred  Consc. Last     Dates    
                             Rate  Rate* Succes Fail    
Soyuz 2-1a/Fregt 10    11#   .91  .85      8    5/21/09  2006-

# Does not include one successful suborbital Soyuz 2-1a test 
   flight performed in 2004.
Ascent profile

Weather Forecast for Sinnamary, French Guiana on November 30, 2012 (11 p.m.)

Overcast. Low of 23C. Breezy. Winds from the East at 10 to 20 km/h.

TimeTempsDew PointRelative HumidityPrecipSnowCloud coverPressureWindWeather
11 PM25°C23°C91%0%0%68%1009 hPa11 km/h East Mostly Cloudy



Last edited by Galactic Penguin SST; 12-01-2012 at 04:06 AM. Reason: New launch time
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:09 PM   #4
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All photos via the excellent CNES Photo Stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pkpro/s...7631966834541/
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:50 AM   #5
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The launch has been postponed by 24 hours.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:42 AM   #6
Galactic Penguin SST
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Live broadcast about to start!
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:42 AM   #7
Default Launch coverage started

'd by GP
Launch coverage started at http://www.arianespace.tv !
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:59 AM   #8
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Spacecraft separation.
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