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SMILE Milestone: SMILE to ride Vega-C for Space
Update time: 2024-05-01
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On 30 April, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Arianespace officially signed a launcher services contract for the launch of the Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) on a Vega-C launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. 
SMILE is a mission-level China-ESA collaboration in the field of space science. It is one of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Strategic Priority Programs on Space Science (Phase II) satellite missions and a Small-class mission of ESA. With the formal signing of the rocket contract and the public announcement, ESA has ensured that the SMILE mission will be launched on a Vega-C rocket from the Kourou Space Centre in French Guiana. The launch is one of ESA’s principal contributions to the SMILE mission.
In autumn 2024, the SMILE satellite platform and payloads will arrive at ESA's European Space Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands for Assembly, Integration, and Test (AIT). The integrated satellite will then be transported to the Kourou launch site in French Guiana for pre-launch tests and preparations.
Related link:https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Smile/Smiles_all_round_Vega-C_to_launch_ESA_solar_wind_mission
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