Arianespace Vega to launch Italian Earth-observation spacecraft in 2018

WASHINGTON — European launch provider Arianespace will launch a
remote-sensing satellite for the Italian Space Agency (ASI)
 in mid-2018 using the Italian-made Vega rocket,
Arianespace announced June 19.

OHB Italia, manufacturer of the Precursore Iperspettrale
della Missione Applicativa, or PRISMA satellite, signed the
launch contract on behalf of ASI. Arianespace will launch the
satellite into a 615-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit.

PRISMA is a 900-kilogram satellite with a hyperspectral
sensor and a medium-resolution panchromatic camera. OHB Italia
used a spacecraft bus from Rome-based Leonardo Airborne and
Space Systems.

PRISMA’s instrument combination enables observation of
physical and chemical characteristics. ASI intends to use the
satellite for monitoring natural resources, agriculture,
pollution and climate change.