Mission typeEarth observation
Optical imaging
Disaster monitoring
OperatorhisdeSAT [1]
Mission duration7 years (planned) [2]
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerAirbus Defence and Space
Thales Alenia Space
Launch mass830 kg
Dry mass750 kg
Power580 watts
Start of mission
Launch date17 November 2020,
01:52:20 UTC [3]
RocketVega VV17
Launch siteCentre Spatial Guyanais, ELV
End of mission
Last contactNovember 17, 2020 UTC
Decay dateLaunch failure
(Cause: Human Error)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeSun-synchronous orbit
Altitude670 km

SEOSat-Ingenio (short for Spanish Earth Observation Satellite-Ingenio), was a Spanish project to produce a satellite capable of providing wide-field imagery (230 frames a day, 60 km × 60 km) ensuring a repeat cycle of 38 days at 2.5 metre panchromatic resolution and 10 metre colour resolution, from a sun-synchronous polar orbit; it was Spain's first optical imaging satellite. The satellite was part of the Spanish Earth Observation Satellite program.[4] The mission was funded by Spain's Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI). SEOSat-Ingenio information was to be used by various Spanish civil, institutional or government users. However, under the Copernicus Programme of the European Union, it was also accessible to other European users, as well as to the Group on Earth observation of the Global Observing System of Earth.[5]


The prime contractor was Airbus Defence and Space, Spain and some parts of the satellite was built by Thales Alenia Space.[2][6] Spacecraft construction was completed in 2019.[7] The primary payload was a pushbroom imager composed of a Multispectral Imager and a Panchromatic Imager.[4]

Three Complementary Scientific Payloads were initially scheduled to be onboard: SENSOSOL, The Two Towers (TTT) and Ultraviolet and Visible Atmospheric Sounder (UVAS).[8] However, in July 2019, Airbus and CDTI confirmed that both TTT and UVAS instruments had lost their flight opportunity.[9] Prior to that announcement (september 2018), allegations had been raised about UVAS management, pointing to technical deficiencies which could jeopardize its in-flight performance and even lead to its irreversible damage at launch.[10]

It was originally projected to launch in 2017; launch vehicle candidates included Vega, Rockot, and PSLV.[11] On 17 May 2019, ESA and Arianespace signed a contract to launch SEOSat-Ingenio on a Vega rocket (VV17) from Centre Spatial Guyanais in 2020.[12]


The first test images of SEOSat-Ingenio were to be downlinked within two to three weeks of launch. The satellite was to be fully operational by April 2021. The SEOSat-Ingenio project cost around 200 million euros, or US$236 million.[13]

Another goal of the SEOSat-Ingenio project, which Spain's government kicked off in 2007, was to foster a growing Spanish space industry. About 80% of the spacecraft was manufactured in Spain, while previous Spanish government satellites were only about half-manufactured in Spain.[13]

Launch failure

SEOSat-Ingenio was launched from the Centre Spatial Guyanais at 01:52:20 UTC on 17 November 2020 alongside the TARANIS satellite.[14] The flight was planned to deploy the satellites into 2 very slightly different sun-synchronous orbits at roughly 670 km (starting 54 minutes until 102 minutes after liftoff), before the upper stage would have re-ignited to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere.[15] However, the rocket failed after launch and the mission was lost. The exact cause was the first ignition of the engine of the Avum fourth stage, a deviation of trajectory was identified, entailing the loss of the mission. Arianespace traces cause of Vega launch failure to "human error".[14] This was the Vega rocket's second failure in seventeen missions.[16]


  1. ^ "Satellite Observation Ingenio". hisdeSAT.
  2. ^ a b "INGENIO: the first Spanish optical Earth observation satellite". Airbus Defence and Space. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Launch Schedule". Spaceflight Now. 9 November 2020. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Satellite: SEOSat-Ingenio". World Meteorological Organization. 14 January 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "SEOSAT-Ingenio". Thales Alenia Space. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Vega to take Spain's SEOSAT-Ingenio into orbit". ESA. 20 May 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  8. ^ "SEOSat - Satellite Missions". Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  9. ^ "El satélite español Ingenio irá más ligero: 6 million de euros en instrumentos se quedan en tierra" (in Spanish). El Confidencial. 24 July 2019. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  10. ^ "El CSIC despidió a este químico por filtrador: hoy es la pesadilla nº1 del sector aeroespacial". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 26 September 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  11. ^
  12. ^ - 20 May 2019
  13. ^ a b "Vega rocket poised for launch with satellites for Spain and France". Spaceflight Now. 16 November 2020. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  14. ^ a b Clark, Stephen. "Live coverage: Arianespace probing "anomaly" shortly after Vega launch". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  15. ^ "Vega flight VV17 launch kit" (PDF). Arianespace. November 2020. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  16. ^ "Status". Retrieved 17 November 2020.