SpaceX will launch the Italian Space Agency’s COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 (CSG-2) Earth observation satellite next week. The company announced today that it completed a static-fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the satellite to orbit on Thursday, January 27. It will lift off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's Launch Complex-40 at 6:11 p.m. EST at 6:11 p.m. EST.
Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete – targeting Thursday, January 27 at 6:11 p.m. EST for launch of COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 to orbit from SLC-40 in Florida— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 23, 2022
The Italian Space Agency typically launches payload aboard French Arianespace launch vehicles. It planned to launch the COSMO SkyMed CSG-2 Earth observation satellite aboard an upgraded version of Arianespace’s Vega rocket that is under development called ‘VEGA-C’. However, a set of Arianespace rocket failures led the Italian agency to switch launch providers in late-September 2021. The agency announced that it signed a contract to launch the COSMO-SkyMed Satellite atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 instead.
The development of COSMO-SkyMed is funded by the Italian Ministry of Research and Ministry of Defense. The CSG-2 satellite is designed to monitor the Earth to assist in emergency response operations and military defense strategy, as well as serve for Earth science research. It is equipped with advanced radar technology to assess specific locations on Earth to enable environmental assessment, forest protection, natural resources exploration, land management for food agriculture, cartography, and even maritime surveillance. The first satellite in the fleet, named CSG-1, was successfully launched in 2019 from French Guiana aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket operated/owned by Arianespace.
Featured Image Source: European Space Agency