Space followers may have some rocket motion to digest their turkey by.
The medium-lift Vega C rocket is scheduled to raise off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on Thursday (Nov. 24) at 9:57 p.m. EST (10:47 p.m. native time and 0257 GMT on Nov. 25). You can watch the launch dwell right here at Space.com, courtesy of Arianespace, which operates the Vega C, or directly via the France-based company (opens in new tab).
The 115-foot-tall (35 meters) Vega C rocket will carry to sun-synchronous orbit the satellites Pléiades Neo 5 and Pléiades Neo 6, which collectively weigh 4,359 kilos (1,977 kilograms).
Related: The history of rockets
The two spacecraft will full the Pléiades Neo Earth-imaging constellation, which is owned and operated by European aerospace large Airbus.
“The constellation is made of four identical satellites, built using the latest Airbus innovations and technological developments, and allows to image any point of the globe, several times per day, at 30-centimeter [12 inches] resolution,” Arianespace wrote in a description of Thursday’s Vega C mission (opens in new tab).
“Highly agile and reactive, they can be tasked up to 15 minutes before acquisition and send the images back to Earth within the following hour,” Arianespace added. “Smaller, lighter, more agile, accurate and reactive than the competition, they are the first of their class whose capacity will be fully commercially available.”
Vega C was developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and is now operated by Arianespace. The new rocket is a extra highly effective variant of the unique Vega, which made its debut in 2012.
Vega C’s inaugural flight occurred this past July, when the rocket efficiently launched a 650-pound (295 kg) Italian spacecraft and 6 tiny tagalong cubesats to orbit.
Arianespace at present has three operational rockets in its secure: the 2 Vegas and Ariane 5, a robust heavy lifter. The firm flew Russian-built Soyuz rockets for years as properly however stopped doing so after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
Arianespace can even fly the Ariane 6, the successor to the Ariane 5. ESA continues to be creating the brand new heavy lifter, which is anticipated to launch for the primary time in late 2023.
Mike Wall is the creator of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a ebook in regards to the seek for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).