According to a report from the European Space Agency today, eight minutes after takeoff, the rocket carrying the SEOSAT-Ingenio satellite deviated from its trajectory, and the failure resulted in a crash and mission loss. This is the largest project ever undertaken by the Spanish aerospace sector and aims to observe the Earth in high resolution.
After years of work and a budget of about 200 million euros, the launch of the satellite failed SEOSAT (Spanish Earth Observation Satellite), also baptized originality, The task is lost.
As planned, it boarded with the French satellite Taranis Rocket Vega This Tuesday at 2:52 a.m. (Spanish peninsula time) it took off from the European Spaceport of Courou in French Guiana, but shortly thereafter, a fatal accident occurred.
This European Space Agency (ESA) with Ariana Space (The company responsible for the launch) briefly confirmed this this morning: “Eight minutes after the Vega VV17 mission took off, after the first ignition of the AVUM superior engine, the trajectory deviation was determined, which means the mission failed.”Module AVUM (attitude and cursor upper module) It has a propulsion system that provides orbital jets, and the other is used to control roll and tilt.
In the afternoon, Arianespace has expanded the scope of information: “The first three stages are nominally (normal) work, until the upper level of AVUM ignites eight minutes after leaving the launch pad. At that time, it was discovered that the trajectory was deteriorated, and the vehicle control was subsequently lost, and then the mission was lost. “
Fall into no man’s land
The launcher landed in a completely uninhabited area on Earth, which was planned to be carried out on stage. Zefiro-9 (One third of the Rockets), but no specific points have been reported yet.
A preliminary investigation by technicians on the available data so far indicated that the most likely cause of the launcher’s loss of control is “problems related to the integration of the AVUM fourth-stage nozzle activation system.”
The stage of the Vega Rockets. The fourth failed, AVUM. / That
Investigation committee and possible human error
According to their agreement, Arianespace and ESA will create a Investigation Committee host Daniel Neuenschwander, Director of Space Transportation, ESA, and Stefan, IsraelThe CEO of Arianespace pointed out that the fault may be a cable crossing caused by human error.
In any case, the committee will investigate why no measures have been taken to identify and correct integration errors. It will also develop a roadmap so that Vega can fly again under completely reliable conditions.
Arianespace, last year Lost another satellite For the transmitter failure, he expressed his deepest apologies to the customers and manufacturers involved in this task.Director of ESA Jan WoernerHe also recalled them: “I think of all the staff, especially CDTI (Spanish) and CNES (France), who have worked hard for these two missing satellites. I will personally ensure that I understand the root cause. “
Goodbye Spanish Earth Observation Satellite
SEOSAT-Ingenio is advanced Earth Observation SatelliteIt is by far the largest project in the Spanish aerospace field.It was developed by ESA and got Industrial Technology Development Center (CDTI) of Science and Technology Innovation Department And the general contractor has Airbus Spain, The company also made a dispenser (called VESTA) in which the French Taranese satellite was encapsulated and Spain was coupled to it.
Their data will be used in topographic information, cartography, land use, urban planning, agriculture, water management, forestry, environmental protection, insurance, and civil defense against natural disasters (such as forest fires, droughts, floods, and heat waves).
The information on the land area provided by Ingenio will be useful to the Spanish public administration (an organization composed of 9 ministries and autonomous regions) as well as users in the international commercial market.
The “star” or payload of the satellite is High-resolution optical instruments, Which has two identical cameras, each of which is about 28 kilometers wide. To capture images, both have two channels: Panchromatic Canal (Black and white) 2.5 m resolution, and Other multispectral Four bands (blue, green, red and near infrared) with 10 m resolution.
The instrument could have operated in a sweeping frequency mode in a 55-kilometer-long strip, “covering more than 2.5 million kilometers.2 pcs Everyday” as highlighted yesterday Jorge LombaAt the pre-launch press conference, the head of the CDTI Aerospace Planning Department. He said: “Our goal is to design, develop and control a complete space system for the first time.”
He also provided some data from SEOTAT-Ingenio: 750 kg, Shelf life 7 years (Although it carries 10 fuel) and orbits in sun-synchronous orbit (passes a certain latitude of the earth at the same local solar time), Height 670 meters. It will orbit our planet more than 14 times a day. It is also planned to add PAZ to this optical satellite, which is a radar mission launched in 2018.
He will supplement other “sentinels” on earth
For its part, Josef AschbacherThe Director of the ESA’s Earth Observation Program said that SEASAT-Ingenio will complement the mission of the European Program Copernicus (Using its Sentinels satellite), and its data is used not only in Spain and other parts of Europe, but also in other parts of the world (such as North Africa and Latin America).
SEOSAT-Ingenio’s international forecast also pointed this out Jose MorenoThe chairman of the delegation’s advisory group, “although it is very important for us to have it as the Spanish national delegation: to have national technology and to develop a national earth observation plan (including data development)”.
During the launch and early orbit phases, the mission is controlled at the ESA European Space Operations Center (ESOC) in the German city of Darmstadt, but it will be responsible for management thereafter National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) In Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid).
Director of ESA’s Earth Explorer Program, Dominique GillieronHe emphasized that SEOSAT-Ingenio is “not just a satellite, it is a complete operating system” and, despite the challenges brought by the covid-19 pandemic and confinement, it has overcome different stages in its development process.. .until today.
At the end of the press conference, some speakers crossed their fingers, but unfortunately their wishes did not come true. Despite launching the Ingenio mission, their efforts failed. Name Refers to the ability of humans to act quickly, create and ultimately achieve expectations.
An illustration of SEOSAT-Ingenio flying over the earth near Spain, which is currently not available. / ESA-P. Carril
Pedro Duque showcases Ingenio’s technical heritage
Minister of Science and Innovation Pedro Duque, Regret it Twitter Lost the launcher that put SEOSAT-Ingenio into orbit, but recalled that the technology developed has provided training for Spanish companies (Airbus Spain, Sener, Thales Alenia Space, GMV, Indra, Crisa, Deimos Space… ) To facilitate the acquisition of new contracts, such as the LSTM task of the European Copernicus plan.
ESA has signed several contracts with European companies this month to establish three new high-priority Copernicus missions, one of which is Land Surface Temperature Monitoring (LSTM, Its English abbreviation is: Surface temperature monitoring). The 380 million euro contract was signed with Spanish Airbus in the presence of Duke. Spain will lead the development of Copernicus’s outpost spacecraft for the first time.
LSTM will carry a space-time high-resolution high-resolution infrared sensor that will provide observations of the earth’s surface temperature. Especially in the context of increasingly scarce water and ever-changing environment, it will meet the needs of European farmers to increase the sustainability of their production.
Josef Aschbacher, Director of the European Space Agency’s Earth Observation Program, also said: “We are all very sad for the failure of the SEASAT-Ingenio ground imaging mission, but I want to remind you that we have reached another goal of 100 %, this is the development of solid expertise in space systems in Spain. The contract to lead the LSTM mission with the Spanish industry has proven this.
Graphical representation of the Land Surface Temperature Monitoring (LSTM) mission. /Airbus