The Falcon Eye 1 military reconnaissance satellite for the United Arab Emirates is set to ride a Vega launcher into a 379-mile-high (611-kilometer) orbit Wednesday night from French Guiana on a mission that will take less than one hour from liftoff until spacecraft separation.
Liftoff is scheduled for July 10 at 9:53:03 p.m. EDT (0153:03 GMT on July 11) from the Vega launch pad at the Guiana Space Center, located on the northeastern coast of South America. The Vega launcher, primarily developed and built in Italy, will head north over the Atlantic Ocean to deliver the Falcon Eye 1 imaging satellite into a sun-synchronous orbit flying from pole-to-pole.
It will be the 15th flight of a Vega rocket, and the second Vega mission of 2019.
Ready for blastoff just after sunset Wednesday with a classified payload for the U.S. government’s spy satellite agency, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket rolled out to its launch pad at Cape Canaveral late Tuesday afternoon after an unplanned trip back inside its integration building for repairs.
SpaceX’s two fast-maneuvering payload fairing recovery vessels were in the right place at the right time Monday to catch both halves of the nose shroud jettisoned by a Falcon 9 rocket climbing into orbit with South Korea’s Anasis 2 military communications satellite.
The military-run spaceport at Cape Canaveral will soon be renamed Cape Canaveral Space Force Station to reflect the facility’s transition from the U.S. Air Force to the newly-created Space Force, military officials said Friday.