Unknown weather forecast for the launch of the new Cosmo SkyMed satellite

Unknown weather for the launch of the second satellite of the new generation Cosmo-SkyMed, the great Italian constellation for Earth Observation. “With the new launch, we will in fact arrive at the sixth satellite operational in orbit”, Giorgio Saccoccia, president of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), told ANSA. “All four first generation satellites launched so far are in fact still operational and have gone beyond their nominal operational life, but it is essential to launch the new satellites quickly, in view of a natural transition.”

Expected at 00.11 on January 28 with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the launch marks a new step forward in the dual program, intended for civilian and defense uses, born in 2007 from the memorandum of understanding signed by the ministries of defense and of Education, University and Research. The satellite is ready inside Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket from its base in Cape Canaveral (Florida), but the latest weather report indicates a 60% chance of launch.

The expectations are many and important, added Saccoccia, considering that “the new generation, more advanced in terms of performance and with greater resolution, marks a technological evolution”. In fact, the new generation satellites have sensors that allow you to observe the same target with different polarizations during the same passage: “thanks to these characteristics – he observed – they are able to provide much more data per observed area than those obtained with the first generation “. This opens up “new perspectives at an international level: Cosmo SkyMed is part of an international vision regarding the use of data, in the name of collaboration”, said the president of ASI.

“The data – he added – are exchanged and collaborated with various international partners, in line with agreements signed between agencies or between governments”. The Earth Observation data, said Saccoccia, “are a tool that can be used, both for institutional and commercial purposes” and which opens “a chain of developments and services”.

The second generation of Cosmo SkyMed thus confirms that the constellation is “a very sophisticated machine”, in line with the fact that “Earth Observation is evolving towards complex systems and an ever wider user base”. As for the new constellation for Earth Observation put in place thanks to the funds of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Pnrr) and which should be operational in 2026, Saccoccia said that its constellations “will be complementary” and that in the meantime will continue to look to the future: “we will also think about the third generation of Cosmo SkyMed”.

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