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Vega Rocket Launches PRISMA Earth Observation Satellite for Italy



A European Vega rocket launched a new earth observation satellite for the Italian space agency on Thursday (March 21), illuminating the night sky over its launch site in French Guiana.

The PRISMA Earth Observation Satellite launched at 09:50. EDT (0150 March 22 GMT) from the South American Guyana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. The satellite will operate in a sun-synchronous orbit, which means that it will orbit the earth in such a way that the sun will always be in the same position where the satellite is taking pictures of the planet below it.

PRISMA (an Italian abbreviation for hyperspectral) forerunners of the application mission) aims to provide information on environmental monitoring, resource management, pollution and plant health. The satellite has a medium-resolution camera that can see across all visual wavelengths, as well as a hyperspectral imager that can capture a broader wavelength range between 400 and 2500 nanometers.

Related: Europe's small Vega rocket in pictures

   An Arianespace Vega rocket carrying the Earth Observation Satellite PRISMA will launch from Kourou, French Guiana on March 21<div class="e3lan e3lan-in-post1"><script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script>
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An Arianespace Vega missile taking off the PRISMA earth observation satellite from Kourou, France, Guiana, March 21, 2019.

(Image: © Arianespace)

"The mission can make a unique contribution to observation of the natural resources and to study important environmental processes such as the interaction between atmosphere and biosphere and hydrosphere, observation of global climate change and the impact of human activities on ecosystems, "said the Italian Space Agency in a statement of 2017 in the Mission was announced.

PR ISMA was designed and manufactured by an Italian consortium led by OHB ITALIA SpA and LEONARDO SpA. This is the third Vega mission of the year 2019 and the 14th since the launch of the starter in Guiana in 2012, Arianespace said in a statement.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace . Follow us on Twitter @SpaceTotcom and Facebook .


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