Verhaert Design and Development of Antwerp, Belgium has received an 8.5 million ECU ($9.5 million) contract from the European Space Agency (ESA) to build the 100kg Proba autonomous technology satellite and launch it into polar orbit in July 2000, flying as a piggyback payload aboard an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The spacecraft is designed to be operated without the use of a ground station, executing orders via the Internet. The Proba will be equipped with a 25m-resolution Earth observation camera provided by SIRA of the UK. The spacecraft will also be used to study radiation.

Source: Flight International