Arianespace has been selected to launch Thailand’s THEOS-2, the country’s new earth observation satellite, which will be built by Airbus.
THEOS-2 will be launched in 2021, using either Arianespace’s existing Vega small launcher or its successor Vega-C, whose maiden flight is scheduled for 2019.
Following the signing of this contract, Philippe Pham, Senior Vice President Earth Observation, Navigation & Science of Airbus Defence and Space said, “We are very proud to have been selected by the Kingdom of Thailand for the THEOS-2 satellite. We are glad to continue the long term partnership between Airbus and Vega, the most reliable and versatile launcher in its class.”
Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace, said: “We are delighted that Airbus Defense and Space has chosen the Vega system to orbit THEOS-2, an advanced observation satellite for the Kingdom of Thailand. Arianespace is proud to contribute to a strengthening of this country’s observation capabilities. THEOS-2 joins the long list of satellites in our backlog built by our customer and partner Airbus Defence and Space, along with the VD-20 satellites, the first commercial contract signed for Vega-C last year. THEOS-2 illustrates again the perfect adaptation of Vega and Vega C to the dynamic Earth observation market.”
THEOS-2 will be a very-high-resolution Earth observation optical satellite delivering 0.5-meter ground resolution imagery, and will be based on Airbus’ AstroBus-S platform. The satellite, which will have a liftoff mass of about 450kg, will be designed for a nominal service life of at least 10 years once injected into a Sun-Synchronous Orbit at approximately 620 km.
Still in its early stages, plans to build THEOS-2 were solidified in June this year, when the Thai government selected Airbus to manufacture the satellite with a total budget of approximately US$238 million for the entire project.