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Six Airbus Defence and Space satellites in orbit

Soyuz mission success

A major first for Airbus Defence and Space

During the night of Friday 16 to Saturday 17 December, at 23.04 local time, the second Kourou-launched Soyuz lofted Pléiades 1a, the four ELISA micro-satellites and SSOT into orbit.

Pléiades 1a is the first of two dual-use, very high resolution imaging satellites for the French space agency CNES. Pléiades 1 imagery will be used for military purposes and operated for commercial use by Airbus Defence and Space’ GEO division.

The four satellites which form the Elisa demonstrator are designed to prove the capability to map and characterise radar emissions from any point on the globe for the joint DGA (French Defence Procurement Agency) / CNES (French Space Agency) customer. The four satellites are based on the Myriade platform and manufactured jointly with Thales Systèmes Aéroportés.

SSOT (Sistema Satelital para la Observación de la Tierra) for the Chilean Armed Forces, is the most recent space-based observation system Airbus Defence and Space has delivered to a non-domestic customer.

It was also Airbus Defence and Space which built the dispenser used to successively deploy the six satellites into their respective orbits.

This is the first time that six satellites developed by Airbus Defence and Space have been launched simultaneously.