Encyclopedia Astronautica
SPOT-5A-5B


French earth land resources satellite. Two launches, 2002.05.04, 2009.12.18. SPOT was the French government sponsored civil Earth observation program. A single SPOT satellite provided complete coverage of the Earth every 26 days.

The system provided 5 m resolution in the panchromatic band and 10 m resolution in the multispectral bands.

SPOT 5A and 5B were the next generation of this series. Additional program support came from Belgium and Sweden. Image products from SPOT were handled by a commercial entity, SPOT-Image Corp. The spacecraft was 3-axis stabilized, with a 150 Mbps downlink rate. The payload included the HRG (High Resolution Geometry) instrument for multispectral imaging of the earth's surface. Each spacecraft carried three HRGs, one looking forward, one looking down, and one looking aft.

Total SPOT budget was $ 5 billion. Original budget was $ 1150 million for 2 units; this was cut to $ 680 million for 1 unit in June 1986. Alcatel's payload contract for $ 92.6 million was signed on 2 February 1995.

AKA: Satellite Probatoire d'Observation de la Terre.
Gross mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 2,850 kg (6,280 lb).
First Launch: 2002.05.04.
Last Launch: 2009.12.18.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Ariane First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • Ariane 5 The Ariane 5 was a completely new design, unrelated to the earlier Ariane 1 to 4. It consisted of a single-engine Lox/LH2 core stage flanked by two solid rocket boosters. Preparatory work began in 1984. Full scale development began in 1988 and cost $ 8 billion. The design was sized for the Hermes manned spaceplane, later cancelled. This resulted in the booster being a bit too large for the main commercial payload, geosynchronous communications satellites. As a result, development of an uprated version capable of launching two such satellites at a time was funded in 2000. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Ariane French orbital launch vehicle. First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • Ariane 42P French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 2 solid rocket strap-ons. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • CNES French agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, Paris, France. More...

Associated Programs
  • SPOT Systeme Probatoire pour l'Observation de la Terre - French remote sensing satellite network. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...

SPOT-5A-5B Chronology


2002 May 4 - . 01:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 42P. LV Configuration: Ariane 42P-3 V151.
  • SPOT 5 - . Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Manufacturer: Friedrichshafen. Program: SPOT. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: SPOT-5A-5B. USAF Sat Cat: 27421 . COSPAR: 2002-021A. Apogee: 826 km (513 mi). Perigee: 825 km (512 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 101.40 min. Remote Sensing satellite. Last launch of Ariane 42P version. Launch delayed from April 10. The Ariane 42P, with two PAP solid boosters, flew north from Kourou. The third stage burn occurred off the east coast of North America, with engine cutoff at 0150 UTC and stage separation at 0151 UTC. Venting of the remaining third stage propellant was seen by observers in the US. SPOT Image's SPOT 5 was built by Astrium/Toulouse. The main instrument was the HRVIR imaging camera payload including a 2.5-meter resolution imager. A secondary experiment was the 5-band VEGETATION-2 instrument with 1-km resolution.

2009 December 18 - . 16:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5GS. LV Configuration: Ariane 5GS s/n L532.
  • Helios 2B - . Mass: 4,200 kg (9,200 lb). Nation: France. Agency: Arianespace. Program: Helios. Spacecraft: SPOT-5A-5B. USAF Sat Cat: 36124 . COSPAR: 2009-073A. Apogee: 680 km (420 mi). Perigee: 680 km (420 mi). Inclination: 98.0000 deg. Summary: French military surveillance satellite..

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