September 2, 2020 – Arianespace’s light-lift Vega launcher performed its 15th successful mission, marking its return to flight. The satellites onboard VV16 are in two categories: seven primary micro-satellites with a mass of 25 to 145 kg.; and 46 nano-satellites with a mass of 250 g. to 7 kg. The first seven satellites were released between the mission’s 40th and 52nd minute, while the remaining 46 were deployed during a sequence of less than three minutes, occurring 1 hour, 42 minutes after liftoff. Among these 53 satellites, certain spacecraft will be dedicated to Earth observation, with innovative projects such as GHGSAT-C1, a Canadian satellite at the service of air quality; or ION Satellite Carrier Lucas for the Planet company. OSM-1 CICERO is the first satellite from Orbital Solutions Monaco, a Monegasque start-up; while ESAIL is the first commercial microsatellite developed under the European Space Agency’s SAT-AIS program for tracking ships. Several experimental satellites also were on board Vega, such as TARS from the Kepler company, which is dedicated to the Internet of Things; as well as the 14 satellites from Swarm Technology, an American start-up whose mission is the use of artificial intelligence in robots and computers. With the demonstration of its new SSMS service, Arianespace is strengthening its position in the growing market for small satellites. This service will soon be supplemented by the MLS (Multi Launch Service) – a similar offer available on Ariane 6, allowing Arianespace to increase the number of affordable launch opportunities for small satellites and constellations.