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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Arianespace will launch Kompsat-6 with Vega C for Korea Aerospace Research Institute


  • Arianespace will launch the Earth observation satellite Kompsat-6 (KOrean Multi-Purpose SATellite-6), for KARI (Korea Aerospace Research Institute).

  • Kompsat-6 will be launched as early as December 2024 onboard Vega C.

  • Kompsat-6 will provide high-resolution radar imagery for GIS (Geographical Information Systems), disaster and environment monitoring as well as ocean and land management.

Arianespace announced the signature of a launch contract for the Earth observation satellite Kompsat-6 that will be delivered to orbit by the European light launcher Vega C. Kompsat-6 will be launched from Europe’s Spaceport, in French Guiana, as early as December 2024.


“Arianespace is proud to support KARI,” said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace. “Since 1992 and the launch of the first Korean satellite on Ariane 4, we have orbited a total of 8 spacecraft for both public and private entities there, including recently Geo-Kompsat-2A and 2B. With this upcoming launch, which comes on top of Kompsat-7 also to be launched by Vega C, we are delighted to serve the country’s interests with our light lift vehicle, and to deploy a new Earth observation satellite that will allow Korea to better monitor the environment and protect its population.”


Kompsat-6 is the second SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) imaging satellite developed by KARI. It will replace its predecessor, Kompsat-5, while deploying improved imaging radar performance. This Earth observation satellite will carry two payloads, the SAR instrument (X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar) and the S-AIS (Satellite-Automatic Identification System). SAR payload is a high-resolution all-weather imager, which has applications in mapping, GIS, environment and disaster monitoring as well as management of oceans and land. The S-AIS payload is a maritime wireless system used to identify position, heading, destination and cargo of larger vessels with the main purpose of collision prevention between larger vessels and with additional applications in maritime traffic management.


This new contract demonstrates the versatility and competitiveness of the new European light launcher Vega C. Thanks to its increased capabilities and performance as well as a larger fairing, Vega C is perfectly suited to serve the full gamut of Earth observation payloads, including heavier radar satellites. Vega C is an ESA program carried out in cooperation between public institutions and private industry across 12 European partner states. AVIO SpA (Colleferro, Italy) is the prime contractor of Vega C, responsible for the development of the launcher system and delivering to Arianespace a “ready-to-fly” launcher at Europe’s Spaceport.

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