Source: Airbus

Authors: Airbus, Ralph Heinrich, Jeremy Close, Guilhem Boltz, Francisco Lechón

Published Date: Wed, 05/22/2024 – 12:12

Summary: The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected Airbus to design and build Vigil, the first operational space weather forecasting satellite in the ESA’s Space Situational Awareness Space Safety Programme. Vigil will provide early warnings of solar storms and coronal mass ejections, protecting critical infrastructure and satellites from potential damage. Positioned at Lagrange point L5, Vigil will monitor solar activity, offering up to five days’ notice of solar winds heading towards Earth. The spacecraft, to be launched in 2031, will feature instruments from various international partners, including NASA, and will operate for over 7.5 years. The UK Space Agency and Met Office will support and utilize data from Vigil for enhanced space weather forecasts.

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