Science

The Vega rocket will launch 3 satellites for the French army early Tuesday morning. Watch it live!

The French military plans to launch three new satellites into Earth orbit early Tuesday (Nov 16), and you can watch it live here.

An Arianespace Vega rocket will launch three CERES satellites (short for “Capacité de Renseignement d’origine Electromagnétique Spatiale”, which translates to “Space Electromagnetic Origin Intelligence Capability”) from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, at 4:27 am EST (0927 GMT) this Tuesday.

You can watch the launch live in the video above, which will begin about 30 minutes before lift-off, courtesy of Arianespace. You can also view it directly through the company website and on YouTube.

Related: Arianespace Vega Rocket Launches Earth Observation Satellite And 4 Cubesats Into Orbit

Three CERES satellites are encapsulated within the payload fairing of a Vega rocket. (Image credit: Arianespace)

Using high-performance sensors, military satellites will locate and characterize transmitters used for enemy communications and radar emitters. The three CERES satellites will fly in formation, circling the Earth in a synchronous orbit with the sun, or a near-polar orbit in which the satellites will pass over the same location at about the same time every day.

“The objective of the CERES (CapacitÉ de Renseignement Électromagnétique Spatiale) military electronic intelligence mission is to collect signal intelligence from areas that surface sensors cannot reach, free from airspace overflight restrictions and in all climates, thus providing a detailed situational picture to support the conception and execution of military operations, “the French space agency CNES said in a mission description. “The signals collected by each satellite will be combined to precisely locate the detected communication systems.”

Artist’s impression of three CERES satellites in Earth orbit. (Image credit: Arianespace)

Tuesday’s launch will be Vega’s third launch of 2021 and the twelfth mission this year for European launch provider Arianespace. Vega’s previous launch on August 16 sent a new Earth-observing satellite and four small satellites into orbits synchronized with the sun.

The next time Arianespace launches a mission from French Guiana will be on December 18, when the company’s Ariane 5 rocket is scheduled to launch the James Webb Space Telescope for NASA.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@ or follow her at @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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