Watch a Vega Rocket Launch an Italian Earth-Observing Satellite!

Encapsulated in its protective payload fairing, Italy’s PRISMA satellite is positioned atop its Vega rocket.
Encapsulated in its protective payload fairing, Italy’s PRISMA satellite is positioned atop its Vega rocket.
(Image: © ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Optique video du CSG - S. Martin)

An Italian Earth-observing satellite will take to the skies tonight (March 21), and you can watch the action live.

The PRISMA spacecraft is scheduled to launch atop an Arianespace Vega rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, at 9:50 p.m. EDT (0150 GMT on March 22). 

Watch it live at Space.com, courtesy of Arianespace, or directly via the launch provider here.

PRISMA, whose name is short for "Precursore Iperspettrale della Missione Applicativa," will be operated by Italy's national space agency. The satellite will set up shop in low-Earth orbit and make observations that aid resource management, environmental monitoring and other fields, Arianespace representatives have said.

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