Vega (rocket)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Vega rocket)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sentinel-2 and vega.jpg
Vega's VV09 before liftoff with Sentinel-2B
FunctionSmall-lift launch vehicle
Country of originItaly, European Space Agency[a]
Cost per launchUS$37 million[1]
Height30 m (98 ft)
Diameter3 m (9.8 ft)
Mass137,000 kg (302,000 lb)
Payload to polar orbit (700 km i 90°)1,430 kg (3,150 lb)
Payload to elliptic orbit (1500×200 km i 5.4°)1,963 kg (4,328 lb)
Payload to SSO (400 km)1,450 kg (3,200 lb)
Associated rockets
Launch history
Launch sitesGuiana Space Centre ELV
Total launches15
First flight13 February 2012 (2012-02-13)[1]
Last flight11 July 2019 (2019-07-11)
First stage – P80[2][3][4]
Length11.7 m (38 ft)
Diameter3 m (9.8 ft)
Empty mass7,330 kg (16,160 lb)
Gross mass95,695 kg (210,971 lb)
Thrust2,261 kN (508,300 lbf)
Specific impulse280 s (2.7 km/s)
Burn time110 s
FuelHTPB (solid)
Second stage – Zefiro 23
Length8.39 m (27.5 ft)
Diameter1.9 m (6.2 ft)
Empty mass2,850 kg (6,280 lb)
Gross mass28,850 kg (63,600 lb)
Thrust871 kN (195,800 lbf)
Specific impulse287.5 s (2.819 km/s)
Burn time77 s
FuelHTPB (solid)[5]
Third stage – Zefiro 9
Length4.12 m (13.5 ft)
Diameter1.9 m (6.2 ft)
Empty mass1,315 kg (2,899 lb)
Gross mass11,815 kg (26,048 lb)
Thrust260 kN (58,450 lbf)
Specific impulse296 s (2.90 km/s)
Burn time120 s
FuelHTPB (solid)[6]
Upper stage – AVUM
Length1.7 m (5.6 ft)
Diameter1.9 m (6.2 ft)
Empty mass147 kg (324 lb)
Gross mass697 kg (1,537 lb)
Thrust2.42 kN (544.0 lbf)
Specific impulse315.5 s (3.094 km/s)
Burn time667 s

Vega (Italian: Vettore Europeo di Generazione Avanzata[7], meaning "Advanced generation European carrier rocket"),[7] is an expendable launch system in use by Arianespace jointly developed by the Italian Space Agency and the European Space Agency. Development began in 1998 and the first launch took place from the Guiana Space Centre on 13 February 2012.[4]

It is designed to launch small payloads — 300 to 2,500 kg satellites for scientific and Earth observation missions to polar and low Earth orbits.[8] The reference Vega mission is a polar orbit bringing a spacecraft of 1,500 kilograms to an altitude of 700 kilometers.

The rocket, named after Vega, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra,[9] is a single-body launcher (no strap-on boosters) with three solid rocket stages: the P80 first stage, the Zefiro 23 second stage, and the Zefiro 9 third stage. The upper module is a liquid rocket called AVUM. The improved version of the P80 stage, the P120C, will be used as the side boosters of the Ariane 6. Italy is the leading contributor to the Vega program (65%), followed by France (13%).[10] Other participants include Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden.[11]



During the mid-1990s, French firms Aérospatiale and SEP, along with Italian firm Bombrini-Parodi-Delfino (BPD), commenced discussions on the development of a proposed Ariane Complementary Launcher (ACL). Around the same time, Italy began to champion the concept of a new solid-propellant satellite launcher.[12] This proposed launcher, dubbed Vega, was promoted as functioning to expand the range of European launch capabilities; Vega would be capable of launching a 1,000kg payload capability into a 700km polar orbit. From the onset, the first of three stages would be based on the solid booster of the existing Ariane 5 expendable launch system while the second and third stages would be make use of the in-development Zefiro rocket motor.[13][14]

However, it was recognised to be a costly project and thus difficult for Italy alone to finance; accordingly, international partners were sought early on in order to proceed with development.[12] In April 1998, it was publicly stated that the Vega programme was dependent upon the securing of roughly ECU70 million of industrial investment, as well as the availability of around ECU350 million of funding that had been requested from interested member states of the European Space Agency (ESA), led by France and Italy.[15] During June 1998, it was announced that ministers from the ESA member states had agreed to proceed with the first phase of the development programme for Vega; the participating members were France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy - the latter had assumed 55 per cent of the burden for financing the programme.[16][14]

By September 1998, it was projected that, if fully funded, Vega would perform its first launch during 2002.[17] However, by early 1998, France was publicly showing displeasure in the programme, leading to disputes in its funding.[18][19] A new, higher- performance version of the Vega was proposed, but this failed to sufficiently satisfy France. In September 1999, France decided to withdraw from the Vega programme entirely, leading to fears for the future of the launcher.[20] In November 1999, the ESA formally dropped Vega as an endorsed programme, a decision which was largely attributed to France's withdrawal; Italy declared that it would proceed regardless, and threatened to re-direct its allocated contributions for the further development of the Ariane 5 to meet the shortfall.[21][22]

Around 2000, an alternative use for the Vega was explored as a medium-class booster rocket to be used in conjunction with an improved, up-rated model of the Ariane 5 heavy launcher.[23] In October 2000, it was announced that France and Italy had settled their year-long dispute over the Vega programme; France and Italy agreed to provide 35 per cent and 52 per cent, respectively, of the financing towards the all-composite P80 booster for the Ariane 5 — work which would be included in the Vega programme.[24] In March 2001, FiatAvio and the Italian Space Agency formed a new company, European Launch Vehicle (ELV), to assume responsibility for the majority of development work on the Vega programme.[25] By 2003, there was concerns that the ESA's recent adoption of the Russian Soyuz launcher would directly compete with the in-development Vega; demands for such launchers had declined with a downturn in the mobile telecommunications satellite market and doubts over the European Galileo satellite navigation system.[26]

Programme launch[edit]

In March 2003, contracts for development of the Vega launcher were signed by the ESA and Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES), the French space agency; Italy provided 65 per cent of funding while six additional nations contributed the remainder.[27] In May 2004, it was reported that a contract was signed between commercial operator Arianespace and prime contractor ELV to perform vehicle integration at Kourou, French Guiana.[28] In November 2004, construction commenced upon a new dedicated launch pad for the Vega launcher at Kourou, this included a bunker and a self-propelled structure to assist assembly of the stages; this site was built over the original launch pad for the retired Ariane 1 launcher.[29][30] In September 2005, the successful completion of key tests on the Vega's solid rocket motor igniters, a key milestone, was reported.[31]

In November 2005, the ESA declared its desire for the development and deployment of an electric propulsion-powered module to work in conjunction with the Vega launcher; this envisioned module would transfer payloads between low Earth orbit (LEO) and a geostationary orbit.[32] During November 2005, it was reported that both Israel and India had shown formal interest in the Vega programme.[33] In December 2005, the Vega launcher, along with the Ariane and Soyuz launchers, were endorsed as the recognised "first choice" platforms for ESA payloads.[34] On 19 December 2005, the first test firing of the Vega's third stage was completed successfully at Salto di Quirra, Sardinia.[35] For several years, further tests would be conducted at the Sardinia site.[36][37] Progress on Vega was delayed by the failure of one such test of the third stage on 28 March 2007.[38][39]

During January 2007, the ESA announced that the agency was studying the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation in order to support launches of the Vega and Ariane.[40] At the 2009 Paris Airshow, it was revealed that the adoption of more cost-effective engine to replace the upper stages of the Vega have been postponed due to a failure to reduce the overall costs of the launcher, making it much less worthwhile to pursue.[41] Despite this finding, efforts to improve the efficiency of the third stage continued.[42] At this point, the certification of all four stages of the Vega launch was anticipated to be achieved prior to the end of 2009, while the first launch was scheduled to take place during 2010.[43] The first flight was intended to be flown with a scientific payload, rather than a 'dummy' placeholder;[44][45] but had intentionally avoided a costly commercial satellite.[46] By late 2010, the first flight had been delayed into 2011.[47]

Into flight[edit]

During October 2011, all major components of the first Vega rocket departed Avio's Colleferro facility, near Rome, by sea for Kourou. At this point, the first launch was anticipated to occur during December 2011 or January 2012.[48][49] During early January 2012, it was reported that the launch date would slip into the following month.[45][50] On 13 February 2012, the first launch of the Vega rocket occurred for Kourou; it was reported as being an "apparently perfect flight".[51][52]

During mid-2011, it was postulated that an evolved 'Europeanised' upgrade of the Vega rocket could be developed in the medium-to-long term future.[53] Following the successful first launch, various improvements for the Vega were postulated. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) was reportedly enthusiastic on the prospects of developing a European alternative to the Vega's final, fourth stage; however, it was widely believed that there should be no change to Vega hardware for roughly 10 years in order to consolidate operations and avoid unnecessary costs early on.[54] The ESA was also keen to take advantage of potential commonalities between the Vega and the proposed Ariane 6 heavy launcher.[55]

Following on from the first launch, a further four flights were conducted under the vestiges of the VERTA programme (Vega Research and Technology Accompaniment), during which observation or scientific payloads were orbited while validating and readying the Vega rocket for more lucrative commercial operations.[56] The second launch, performed on 6 May 2012, which followed a considerably more demanding flight profile and carried the type's first commercial payload, was also successful.[57] In the aftermath of this second launch, the ESA declared the Vega rocket to be "fully functional".[58]

Since entering commercial service, Arianespace markets Vega as a launch system tailored for missions to polar and sun-synchronous orbits.[59] During its qualification flight, Vega placed its main payload of 386.8 kg, the LARES satellite, into a circular orbit at the altitude of 1450 km with an inclination of 69.5 degrees.[60]

Lead-up to first launch[edit]

Enrico Saggese, at that time head of the Italian Space Agency, suggested in October 2008 that the first flight of VEGA might be delayed, stating "We have to decide if we want to wait until we have another programme", and referring to plans to have German participation to develop new third and fourth stages.[61]

In 2009 the first launch of the system was anticipated to take place in November 2010;[62][63] later press suggested that the launch would slip to early 2012, until ESA publicized the launch for "end of January 2012".[64]



Vega stage parameters
P80 Zefiro 23 Zefiro 9 AVUM
Height 11.7 m (38 ft) 7.5 m (25 ft) 3.5 m (11 ft) 1.7 m (5.6 ft)
Diameter 3 m (9.8 ft) 1.9 m (6.2 ft) 1.9 m (6.2 ft) 1.9 m (6.2 ft)
Propellant type solid solid solid liquid
Propellant mass 88 t 24 t 10.5 t 0.55 t
Motor dry mass 7,330 kg (16,160 lb) 1,950 kg (4,300 lb) 915 kg (2,017 lb) 131 kg (289 lb)
Motor case mass 3,260 kg (7,190 lb) 900 kg (2,000 lb) 400 kg (880 lb) 16 kg (35 lb)
Average thrust 2,200 kN (490,000 lbf) 871 kN (196,000 lbf) 260 kN (58,000 lbf) 2.42 kN (540 lbf)
Burn time 110 s 77 s 120 s 667 s
Specific impulse 280 s 287.5 s 296 s 315.5 s


Arianespace had indicated that the Vega launcher is able to carry 1,500 kilograms (3,300 lb) to a circular polar orbit at an altitude of 700 kilometres (430 mi).[67]

The payload fairing of the Vega was designed and is manufactured by RUAG Space of Switzerland.[68] It has a diameter of 2.6 meters, a height of 7.8 meters and a mass of 400 kg.

Three solid motor stages[edit]

The first three stages are solid propellant engines produced by Avio, that is Prime Contractor for the Vega launcher through its company ELV.[69]

Each of the three engine types intended for the three stages of the Vega had to be commissioned with two test-firings – one for design evaluation and one in the final flight configuration.[70][71]


The P80 is the first stage of VEGA, its name is derived from the design phase propellant weight of 80 tons that was later increased to 88 tons. The P80 includes a thrust vector control (TVC) system, developed and made in Belgium by SABCA, consisting of two electromechanical actuators that operate a movable nozzle with flexible joint using lithium ion batteries.[72] The 3 m diameter case is composed of graphite epoxy filament wound case and low density rubber is used for the internal insulation. The nozzle is made of light low-cost carbon phenolic material; a consumable casing is used for the igniter. The solid propellant loaded has low binder content and high aluminium percentage (HTPB 1912).[73]

The first test firing of the P80 engine took place on 30 November 2006 in Kourou, and the test was concluded successfully.[74]

The second test firing of the P80 first stage engine took place on 4 December 2007 in Kourou. Delivering a mean thrust of 190 tonnes over 111 seconds, the engine's behaviour was in line with predictions.[75]

The future version of the stage, P120C, also with its name derived from the design phase propellant weight of 120 tons, will increase the propellant mass to 141-143 tons.[76]

Zefiro 23[edit]

Nozzle of the Zefiro 23, Paris Air Show 2015

The development of the Zefiro motor was initiated by Avio, partially funded by the company and partially funded by a contract from the Italian Space Agency. A Zefiro 23 forms the second stage of Vega. Its carbon-epoxy case is filament-wound and its carbon phenolic nozzle includes a carbon-carbon throat insert. The propellant loading is 23 tons.[72]

The Zefiro 23 second stage engine was first fired on 26 June 2006 at Salto di Quirra. This test was successful.[77]

The second test firing of the Zefiro 23 second stage engine took place on 27 March 2008 also at Salto di Quirra. This successful test qualified the rocket engine.[78]

Zefiro 9[edit]

The first engine completed was Zefiro 9, the third stage engine. The first test firing was carried out on 20 December 2005, at the Salto di Quirra Inter-force Test Range, on the Mediterranean coast in southeast Sardinia. The test was a complete success.[79]

After a critical design review based on the completed first test firings,[80] the second test-firing of the Zefiro 9 took place at Salto di Quirra on 28 March 2007. After 35 seconds, there was a sudden drop in the motor's internal pressure, leading to an increased combustion time.[81] No public information is available for this sudden drop of internal pressure, and whether any flaws were present in the motor's design.

On 23 October 2008, an enhanced version of the Zefiro 9 with a modified nozzle design, the Zefiro 9-A, was successfully tested.[82]

On 28 April 2009, the final qualification test firing of Zefiro 9-A took place at the Salto di Quirra Interforce Test Range in Sardinia, Italy.[83]

Attitude Vernier Upper Module, AVUM[edit]

AVUM undergoing vibration test at ESTEC Test Centre in Noordwijk

The Attitude Vernier Upper Module (often, AVUM) upper stage, developed by Avio, has been designed to place the payload in the required orbit and to perform roll and attitude control functions. The AVUM consists of two modules: AVUM Propulsion Module (APM) and AVUM Avionics Module (AAM).[84] The propulsion module uses a RD-843 rocket engine liquid-fuel rocket burning pressure-fed UDMH and nitrogen tetroxide as propellants. The AVUM avionics module contains the main components of the avionics sub-system of the vehicle.[85]

Launch statistics[edit]

Rocket configurations[edit]

  •   Vega
  •   Vega-C

Launch outcomes[edit]

  •   Failure
  •   Partial failure
  •   Success
  •   Scheduled

Launch history[edit]

Vega flight VV01 occurred on 13 February 2012.[86]


Flight Date / time (UTC) Rocket,
Launch site Payload Payload mass Orbit Users Launch
VV01 13 February 2012
Vega ELV LARES  • ALMASat-1  • e-st@r  • Goliat  • MaSat-1  • PW-Sat  • ROBUSTA  • UniCubeSat-GG  • XaTcobeo LEO Success
First Vega launch; Geodetic and Nanosatellite;


Flight ? Date / time (UTC) Rocket,
Launch site Payload Payload mass Orbit Users Launch
VV02 7 May 2013
Vega ELV Proba-V  • VNREDSat 1A  • ESTCube-1 SSO Success
First commercial launch; Earth observation satellite;[87][88]


Flight ? Date / time (UTC) Rocket,
Launch site Payload Payload mass Orbit Users Launch
VV03 30 April 2014
Vega ELV KazEOSat-1 SSO Success
Earth observation satellite[89]


Flight ? Date / time (UTC) Rocket,
Launch site Payload Payload mass Orbit Users Launch
VV04 February 11, 2015
Vega ELV IXV Suborbital Success
Reentry technology demonstration; IXV deployed on suborbital trajectory, AVUM briefly entered orbit before performing targeted de-orbit[90][91][92]
VV05 23 June 2015
Vega ELV Sentinel-2A SSO Success
Earth observation satellite[95][96][97][98]
VV06 3 December 2015
Vega ELV LISA Pathfinder Halo orbit Earth-Sun L1 Success
Technology demonstrator[99][100]


Flight ? Date / time (UTC) Rocket,
Launch site Payload Payload mass Orbit Users Launch
VV07 16 September 2016
Vega ELV PeruSat-1  • 4 Terra Bella satellites SSO Success
Reconnaissance satellite / Earth observation satellite[101][102]
VV08 5 December 2016
Vega ELV Göktürk-1A SSO Success
Earth observation satellite[103] (IMINT, Reconnaissance)


Flight ? Date / time (UTC) Rocket,
Launch site Payload Payload mass Orbit Users Launch
VV09 7 March 2017
Vega ELV Sentinel 2B SSO Success
Earth observation satellite[104][105]
VV10 2 August 2017
Vega ELV OPSAT-3000  • VENµS SSO Success
Earth observation satellite[106]
VV11 8 November 2017
Vega ELV Mohammed VI-A (MN35-13A) SSO Success
Earth observation satellite[107]


Flight ? Date / time (UTC) Rocket,
Launch site Payload Payload mass Orbit Users Launch
VV12 22 August 2018
Vega ELV ADM-Aeolus[109][110][111] SSO Success
Weather satellite
VV13 21 November 2018
Vega ELV Mohammed VI-B (MN35-13B)[112] SSO Success
Earth observation satellite


Flight ? Date / time (UTC) Rocket,
Launch site Payload Payload mass Orbit Users Launch
VV14 22 March 2019
Vega ELV PRISMA[114] SSO Success
Earth observation satellite
VV15 11 July 2019
Vega ELV Falcon Eye 1 1 197 kg SSO Failure[115]
IMINT (Reconnaissance) - The VV15 launch failure was possibly caused by a thermal protection design flaw on the second stage's forward dome area,[116] and has led to reassignment of the Falcon Eye 2 launch.

Planned launches[edit]

Date / time (UTC)[117] Rocket,
Launch site Payload Orbit Customer
Q1 2020 Vega ELV D-Orbit[118], Spaceflight Industries[119], SITAEL[120] and ISISpace[121] satellites and cubesats SSO
Technology demonstration: first flight of the new Small Satellites Mission Service dispenser[122]
March 2020[123] Vega-C ELV LARES_2
First flight of Vega-C[124] (1st and 2nd stages changed from Vega)
Earth observation satellite[125]
2020 Vega ELV Ingenio SSO
Earth observation satellite[126]
Q4, 2020 Vega ELV Proba-3 HEO
Technology demonstration / Solar observation[127][128]
2020 Vega-C ELV CSG-2 (COSMO-SkyMed 2nd Generation) LEO
Earth observation satellite[129]
2020 Vega-C ELV CERES 1/2/3 SSO
2020 Vega-C ELV Pléiades-Neo 1/2 (VHR-2020 1/2) SSO
Earth observation satellites[131]
2021 Vega-C ELV Space Rider LEO
Technology demonstration[132]
2021 Vega-C ELV Pléiades-Neo 3/4 (VHR-2020 3/4) SSO
Earth observation satellites[131]
2021 Vega-C ELV THEOS-2 HR SSO
Earth observation satellite[133]
Earth observation satellite[134]
2024 Vega-C ELV e.Deorbit LEO
Technology demonstration[135]


Developments costs for the Vega rocket were €710 million, with ESA spending an additional €400 million to sponsor five development flights between 2012 and 2014.[136] Commercial launch costs were estimated in 2012 at €32 million including Arianespace's marketing and service costs or €25 million for a rocket alone, assuming launch rate of 2 per year. By increasing flight rate up to 4 per year price of an each individual launch vehicle will drop to €22 million.[137]

"Our belief is that we can charge up to 20 percent more per launch than our biggest competitors and still win business because of the value we provide at the space center here and with Arianespace."

— Francesco De Pasquale, managing director of ELV SpA, 2012, SpaceNews[137]

Vega C and E[edit]

Model of Vega C at Paris Air Show 2015
  • Vega Consolidated (VEGA C)[138]
    • Evolution of standard Vega;
    • P120C as first stage replacing P80;
    • Zefiro 40 as second stage replacing Zefiro 23;
    • First launch expected in 2020.
  • VEGA Evolution (VEGA E)[139]
    • Evolution of Vega C;
    • M10 cryogenic LOX/liquid methane upperstage replacing both Zefiro 9 and AVUM;
    • First launch expected in 2024.

There was a concept study for a new medium-size launcher based on Vega and Ariane 5 elements. This launcher would use an Ariane 5 P230 first stage, a Vega P80 second stage and an Ariane 5 third stage using either storable or cryogenic fuel.[72]

The future upgraded Vega (LYRA program) has exceeded the feasibility study and is planned to replace the current third and fourth stages with a single low cost LOX/Liquid methane stage with a new guidance system. The purpose of the program is to upgrade the performance by about 30% without significant price increase.[140]

On 14 February 2012, one day after the successful first launch of Vega, the German space agency moved to be included in the program. Johann-Dietrich Woerner, at that time head of the German Aerospace Agency DLR, said Germany wanted to join the project. Germany would provide a replacement for the RD-843 engine on the AVUM fourth stage, currently made in Ukraine. The Vega Launcher Manager stated that it will not fly in the near future because it takes some time to develop, but he confirmed it will be on agenda in the next meeting of ministers in late 2012. That way, all components of the rocket would be built inside the EU, excluding the Swiss made ones.[11]

The revised Vega-C first stage, renamed P120C (Common), has been selected as booster for the first stage of the next generation Ariane 6 rocket at the ESA Council meeting at Ministerial level in December 2014.[141]

Avio is also considering a "Vega Light" that would omit the first stage of either the Vega-C or Vega-E and would be targeted at replenishing satellite constellations. The vehicle would be capable of launching between 250-300kg or 400-500kg depending on whether it was derived from a Vega-C or Vega-E respectively.[142]

Comparable rockets[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The European Space Agency brings together, in addition to Italy, 21 more sovereign states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.


  1. ^ "VV01 – Vega's first liftoff". ESA. 6 March 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  2. ^ Avio. "Vega Satellite Launcher" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  3. ^ Avio. "Avio Space". Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b "ESA – Vega". ESA. 3 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  5. ^ Wade, Mark. "Zefiro 23". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  6. ^ Wade, Mark. "Zefiro 9". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Antonio Fabrizi: from 'nuts and bolts' to Europe's launchers of today and tomorrow". ESA. 16 March 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  8. ^ Amos, Jonathan (13 February 2012). "Vega launcher makes first flight". BBC News. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  9. ^ Tariq Malik (13 February 2012). "Europe Launches New Vega Rocket on Maiden Voyage". Retrieved 29 May 2014. The Italian-built Vega rocket is named after the second-brightest star in the northern hemisphere
  10. ^ Svitak, Amy (6 February 2012). "European Vega Small-Class Launcher Targets Government Market". Aviation Week. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  11. ^ a b CLARK, S. (14 February 2012). "Vega launcher program courts German participation". Spaceflight Now. p. 1. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Launcher proposals." Flight International, 18 December 1996.
  13. ^ Moxon, Julian. "ESA plan emphasises launchers." Flight International, 8 April 1998.
  14. ^ a b Furniss, Tim. "A late entry." Flight International, 15 July 1998.
  15. ^ "Italy leads ESA interest in Vega K development." Flight International, 29 April 1998.
  16. ^ "ESA to develop small satellite launcher." Flight International, 1 July 1998.
  17. ^ Furniss, Tim. "New European launcher awaits full funding." Flight International, 8 September 1998.
  18. ^ "Second test for Vega's Zefiro." Flight International, 7 July 1999.
  19. ^ Furniss, Tim. "Finding a Role." Flight International, 28 July 1999.
  20. ^ "ESA ponders Vega's future after France withdraws." Flight International, 15 September 1999.
  21. ^ Moxon, Julian and Andy Nativi. "French withdrawal prompts ESA to drop Vega project." Flight International, 3 November 1999.
  22. ^ "ESA budgets for Ariane 5 updates." Flight International, 1 February 2000.
  23. ^ Furniss, Tim. "Arianespace adds Eurokot to satellite launcher range." Flight International, 6 June 2000.
  24. ^ Moxon, Julian and Giorgio di Barnado. "Vega agreement paves way for P80 booster for Ariane 5." Flight International, 31 October 2000.
  25. ^ Nativi, Andy. "Italians form launcher company." Flight International, 6 March 2001.
  26. ^ Furniss, Tim. "Face the facts with... Jean-Yves Le Gall." Flight International, 15 June 2003.
  27. ^ Furniss, Tim. "Europe starts Vega development." Flight International, 4 March 2003.
  28. ^ "Vega nears maiden flight." Flight International, 25 May 2004.
  29. ^ "Vega launch pad taking shape." Flight International, 23 November 2004.
  30. ^ Coppinger, Rob. "Bigger Stage." Flight International, 8 November 2005.
  31. ^ Bentley, Ross. "Key tests for Vega igniters." Flight International, 21 September 2005.
  32. ^ "ESA wants electronic module for Vega vehicle." Flight International, 22 November 2005.
  33. ^ "Israel and India show interest in ESA’s Vega." Flight International, 29 November 2005.
  34. ^ Coppinger, Rob. "ESA boosts science, delays Kliper." Flight International, 13 December 2005.
  35. ^ "Vega fires up on third-stage test." Flight International, 3 January, 2006.
  36. ^ "Vega launcher rocket engine tests progress with Sardinian trial firing." Flight International, 4 July 2006.
  37. ^ Coppinger, Rob. "Rocket propulsion sees triple success." Flight International, 3 April, 2008.
  38. ^ "Vega third stage engine fails." Flight International, 30 March 2007.
  39. ^ Coppinger, Rob. "Italian Space Agency plans its relaunch." Flight International, 31 October 2008.
  40. ^ "GPS navigation may guide Europe's Vega." Flight International, 30 January 2007.
  41. ^ Coppinger, Rob. "PARIS AIR SHOW: Commercial Soyuz, Vega launchers face up to cost pressures." Flight International, 14 June 2009.
  42. ^ Peruzzi, Luca. "Italy has sights - and budget - set firmly on the cosmos." Flight International, 28 July 2010.
  43. ^ Peruzzi, Luca. "PARIS AIR SHOW: Face the facts with Avio chief executive Orazio Ragni." Flight International, 16 June 2009.
  44. ^ Coppinger, Rob. "Maiden Vega to fly science payload to conduct tests with lasers." Flight International, 5 June 2007.
  45. ^ a b Thisdell, Dan. "Vega maiden launch could slip into February." Flight International, 6 January 2012.
  46. ^ Thisdell, Dan. "Space, time and Vega's heavy burden." Flight International, 26 January 2012.
  47. ^ Peruzzi, Luca. "Italy special: Towards the stars." Flight International, 16 November 2010.
  48. ^ Thisdell, Dan. "ESA counting down to historic launches." Flight International, 17 October 2011.
  49. ^ Thisdell, Dan. "Vega on track for January maiden flight from ESA's French Guiana launch site." Flight International, 13 December 2011.
  50. ^ Thisdell, Dan. "Fingers crossed and re-crossed as Vega moves toward maiden flight." Flight International, 26 January 2012.
  51. ^ Thisdell, Dan. "Vega maiden launch goes to plan." Flight International, 13 February 2012.
  52. ^ Thisdell, Dan. "Success of Vega rocket flight boosts Avio profile." Flight International, 22 February 2012.
  53. ^ Thisdell, Dan. "PARIS: ESA to fire up next-gen launcher." Flight International, 24 June 2011.
  54. ^ Thisdell, Dan. "SPACEFLIGHT: Partners look to enhance Vega." Flight International, 23 February 2012.
  55. ^ Thisdell, Dan. "IN FOCUS: Europe's next rocket has high hurdles to clear." Flight International, 27 November 2012.
  56. ^ Thisdell, Dan. "IN FOCUS: Europe forges ahead in space." Flight International, 3 July 2012.
  57. ^ Thisdell, Dan. "For ‘flexible’ Vega, second launch a step up in complexity." Flight International, 18 April 2013.
  58. ^ Thisdell, Dan. "Vega’s second success ‘confirms functionality’." Flight International, 9 May 2013.
  59. ^ "Vega — Performance". Arianespace.
  60. ^ I. Ciufolini et al. The Design of LARES: A Satellite for Testing General Relativity. IAC-07-B4.2.07, proceedings of the 58th International Astronautical Congress, India, Hyderabad, 2007.
  61. ^ "Italian Space Agency Plans its Relaunch". Flight International. 31 October 2008.
  62. ^ "Avio: Vega's motors qualify but maiden launch slips to 2010". Flight International. 29 April 2009. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012.
  63. ^ "Delays seen for Soyuz, VEGA launches at Europe's Space Base". AFP. 15 June 2009.
  64. ^ "Vega moves closer to its first liftoff". ESA. 15 December 2011.
  65. ^ "Vega Satellite Launcher" (PDF). Avio. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  66. ^ "Vega – Launcher composition (interactive)". ELV. Archived from the original on 23 March 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  67. ^ "Vega — Overview". Arianespace.
  68. ^ Coppering, Rob. "A significant role with ESA." Flight International, 21 September 2004.
  69. ^ "Space Propulsion". Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  70. ^ "VEGA Satellite Launcher" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 December 2013.
  71. ^ Neri, Agostino (4 August 2011). "Vega Launch System Final Preparation for Qualification Flight" (PDF). Proceedings of 47th AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference. San Diego, California (USA): AIAA.
  72. ^ a b c M. Caporicci (November 2000). "The Future of European Launchers: The ESA Perspective" (PDF). ESA.
  73. ^ "Solid propellant rocket stage". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  74. ^ ESA: Successful firing of Vega’s first-stage motor in Kourou
  75. ^ ESA: Vega main engine test in Kourou
  76. ^ "VEGA C: 1° Stage – P120C Motor". Avio. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  77. ^ ESA: Vega's second stage motor roars to life
  78. ^ Successful qualification firing test for Zefiro 23
  79. ^ ESA: Successful first test for Vega's Zefiro 9 engine
  80. ^ ESA: Vega Critical Design Review begins
  81. ^ ESA: Anomalous behaviour affects firing test of Vega’s Zefiro 9 motor
  82. ^ "Successful first test for Vega's Zefiro 9-A solid-fuel rocket motor". ESA. 24 October 2008.
  83. ^ "Successful second test for Vega's Zefiro 9-A solid-fuel rocket motor". ESA. 30 April 2009.
  84. ^ "AVUM" (in Italian). Avio. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  85. ^ "Vega Launcher". ESA. 6 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  86. ^ "ESA's new Vega launcher scores success on maiden flight". Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  87. ^ VERTA is an acronym for Vega Research and Technology Accompaniment and designates Vega's missions aiming "to demonstrate the flexibility of the Vega launch system". VERTA framework includes four ESA missions (Proba-V, Aeolus, LISA Pathfinder and IXV), but also some missions of National Agencies (like ASI). Sources: ESA (20 November 2013). VERTA Programme; ASI (2015).PRISMA Precursore IperSpettrale (Hyperspectral Precursor) of the application mission.
  88. ^ "Vega delivers three Satellites to Orbit to achieve second Success". spaceflight101. 7 May 2013. Archived from the original on 15 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  89. ^ Greg Delaney (22 June 2012). "Kazakhstan to launch sastellite on new Arianespace Vega vehicle". Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  90. ^ Bergin, Chris (3 July 2014). "ESA's experimental space plane gearing up for November debut". NASA spaceflight. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  91. ^ "The Spaceport keeps pace with Arianespace's busy mission cadence". Arianespace. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  92. ^ "ESA launch schedule". Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  93. ^ "Vega to fly ESA experimental reentry vehicle". ESA. 29 March 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  94. ^ "IXV – Intermediate Experimental Vehicle". Spaceflight101. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  95. ^ "Sentinel-2". ESA. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  96. ^ "Soyuz orbits Sentinel-1A on 7th successful launch from French Guiana". CNES. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  97. ^ "Vega milestones". Arianespace. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  98. ^ "ESA books Eurockot Launch for Sentinel-5p Satellite". Eurockot Launch Services. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  99. ^ "LISA Pathfinder overview". ESA. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  100. ^ "LISA Pathfinder enroute to gravitational wave demonstration". European Space Agency. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  101. ^ de Selding, Peter B. (25 March 2015). "Vega To Launch Peruvian Imaging Satellite Along with Skybox Craft". Spacenews. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  102. ^ "Vega To Launch Skybox Satellites". SpaceNews. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  103. ^ "Arianespace's Vega scores its eighth success in orbiting GÖKTÜRK-1 for Turkey". Arinespace. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  104. ^ "Project main steps". CNES. Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  105. ^ "Arianespace to launch OPTSAT 3000 and VENµS satellites". Arianespace. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  106. ^ Clark, Stephen (2 August 2017). "Vega launcher achieves on-target deployment of Earth-imaging satellites". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  107. ^ "Vega VV11 • MN35-A". Spaceflight101. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  108. ^ ESA Operations [@esaoperations] (22 August 2018). "Exact #Vega liftoff time of flight #VV12 with #Aeolus is confirmed as 21:20:09.478Z" (Tweet). Retrieved 23 August 2018 – via Twitter.
  109. ^ "Launch Schedule". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  110. ^ "Wind laser survives extremes". ESA. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  111. ^ de Selding, Peter B. (22 May 2015). "Cost, Schedule Woes on 2 Lidar Missions Push ESA To Change Contract Procedures". Spacenews. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  112. ^ a b "Arianespace orbits the MOHAMMED VI – B satellite on 13th successful Vega launch in a row" (Press release). Arianespace. 21 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  113. ^ Airanespace [@Airanespace] (21 March 2019). "#Arianespace's first #Vega flight in 2019 – and third overall this year – lifts off today from the Spaceport in French Guiana" (Tweet). Retrieved 21 March 2019 – via Twitter.
  114. ^ ASI. "PRISMA Launch Date". Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  115. ^ "Arianespace Flight VV15: Mission failure".
  116. ^ "Vega flight VV15: findings of the Independent Inquiry Commission's investigations". European Space Agency. 5 September 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  117. ^ Pietrobon, Steven (10 October 2018). "Ariane Launch Manifest". Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  118. ^ Arianespace (2 May 2018). "Arianespace and D-Orbit sign contract to launch ION Cubesat Carrier on Vega SSMS POC flight". Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  119. ^ Arianespace (17 April 2018). "Arianespace and Spaceflight sign contract to launch small satellites on Vega SSMS POC flight". Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  120. ^ Arianespace (3 May 2018). "Arianespace to launch the first STRIVING small satellite for SITAEL on Vega's SSMS POC flight". Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  121. ^ Arianespace (31 May 2018). "Arianespace and ISIS to launch small satellites on the Vega SSMS POC flight". Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  122. ^ Vega flight opportunity for multiple small satellites, ESA, 22 February 2017, retrieved 22 February 2017
  123. ^ Henry, Caleb; Berger, Brian (5 September 2019). "Second stage blamed as Vega targets early 2020 return to flight". SpaceNews. SpaceNews. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  124. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Vega-C". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  125. ^ CNES (29 June 2018). "Taranis". Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  126. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Ingenio". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  127. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "PROBA 3". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  128. ^ Clark, Stephen (20 August 2017). "Pioneering ESA mission aims to create artificial solar eclipses". Spacefligt Now.
  129. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "CSG 1, 2 (COSMO-SkyMed 2nd Gen.)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  130. ^ "Building on its 2016 successes, Arianespace looks to the future with confidence at the service of its customers" (Press release). Arianespace. 4 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  131. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "Pléiades-Neo 1, 2, 3, 4 (VHR-2020 1, 2, 3, 4)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  132. ^ Messier, Doug. "Announcement of Opportunity to Fly Payloads on ESA's Space Rider". Parabolic Arc. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  133. ^ Arianespace (12 September 2018). "With its Vega/Vega C launcher, Arianespace to orbit THEOS-2 for Airbus Defence and Space in the framework of a turnkey contract with Thailand's GISTDA". Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  134. ^ Arianespace (12 September 2018). "Arianespace to launch KOMPSAT-7 for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) using a Vega C launch vehicle". Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  135. ^ "In-orbit servicing: e.deorbit". ESA. 28 February 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  136. ^ de Selding, Peter B. (13 February 2012). "Europe's Italian-led Vega Rocket Succeeds in Debut". SPACE NEWS. Archived from the original on 2 February 2013.
  137. ^ a b de Selding, Peter B. (23 January 2012). "Vega Expected to be Price-competitive With Russian Rockets". Space News.
  138. ^ "VEGA C". AVIO. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  139. ^ "VEGA E". AVIO. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  140. ^ "LIRA | VEGA evolution". Agenzia Spaziale Italiana. Archived from the original on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  141. ^ "ESA Ministerial Council: a historic leap forwards for space activities". Agenzia Spaziale Italiana. 2 December 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  142. ^ "Avio Considers 'Vega Light' Mini-Launcher". Aviation Week. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2017.

External links[edit]