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Launch of Belgian CubeSats postponed to August


Vega Flight VV16 is postponed to August, due to persistent unfavourable winds at high altitudes above Kourou (French Guyana, South America). Aboard the Vega launcher, 53 satellites, including two Belgian CubeSats, PICASSO and SIMBA, are waiting to be lifted into orbit.

After  previous delays in September last year and March for several reasons, the launch was  scheduled for June 18, 2020. On July 1st, 2020, after several unsuccessful attempts, it was decided to postpone the launch until August 18, 2020. The reason why each launch attempt was stopped was the persistent wind at high altitude.

Both the launcher and the satellites are and remain ready for launch, but priority has now been given to the Ariane Flight VA253, which will bring two satellites into geostationary orbit. Due to the eastbound trajectory, this launcher will not be impacted by the wind at high altitude.

The teams of RMIB (SIMBA) and BIRA-IASB (PICASSO) are disappointed with this extra delay, but strongly hope for a successful launch in August.


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Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser and SAT-AIS.