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Old 01-27-2012, 03:35 PM   #16
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ESA:
First Vega rocket assembled on launch pad

27 January 2012

ESAís new Vega rocket is now fully assembled on its launch pad. Final preparations are in full swing for the rocketís inaugural flight from Europeís Spaceport. The launch window opens on 9 February.

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ESAís new Vega rocket is now fully assembled on its launch pad. Final preparations are in full swing for the rocketís inaugural flight.
Flight VV01 will lift off from the new Vega launch site at Europeís Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, carrying nine satellites into orbit: the LARES laser relativity satellite and ALMASat-1 from ASI with seven CubeSats from European Universities.
Credits: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2012


The upper composite, comprising LARES, ALMASat-1, seven CubeSats, the payload adapter and the fairing, was moved to the pad late Monday night. A night transfer is the standard practice in Kourou to avoid overheating the payloads.

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Vega's upper composite, comprising LARES, ALMASat-1, seven CubeSats and the fairing, was transferred to the pad on 24 January and added to the vehicle at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.
Credits: ESA - M. Pedoussaut, 2012


The move ended early Tuesday morning with its installation on the dedicated stand inside the mobile gantry to await mating with the launcher.

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Vega's upper composite, comprising LARES, ALMASat-1, seven CubeSats and the fairing, was transferred to the pad on 24 January and added to the vehicle at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.
Credits: ESA - M. Pedoussaut, 2012


The composite was then added on top of Vegaís AVUM fourth stage to finalise electrical connections and verify links, concluding with the final mechanical connection.

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Vega's new launch site at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana
Credits: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2012


The main remaining steps to the maiden flight are the final checkout of the assembled vehicle, the full launch countdown rehearsal and the fuelling of the restartable AVUM.

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Old 01-29-2012, 08:34 PM   #17
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Parabolic Arc: Russian Rockets Face Competition From Vega
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:38 PM   #18
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http://multimedia.esa.int/Videos/201...aunch-campaign

More pics:

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Old 01-30-2012, 06:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notebook View Post
embed video:

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Old 02-02-2012, 01:31 AM   #20
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Universe Today: Inaugural Vega Rocket Poised at Europeís South American Spaceport
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:09 AM   #21
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ESA:
Vega set for its inaugural flight

3 February 2012

PR 2 2012 - On 13 February, the European Space Agency will perform the first qualification flight of its brand new Vega launch vehicle.

The very first Vega will lift off from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, to release nine satellites into orbit and add a new capability to Europe’s fleet of launch systems.

The first mission, designated VV01, is scheduled for liftoff during a two-hour launch window during 10:00–12:00 GMT (11:00–13:00 CET; 07:00–09:00 local time)

This first flight marks the culmination of nine years of development by ESA and its partners, the Italian space agency (ASI) and ELV SpA, the prime contractor for developing the vehicle.

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ESA’s new Vega rocket is now fully assembled on its launch pad. Final preparations are in full swing for the rocket’s inaugural flight.
Credits: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2012


{...}

The payload consists of two Italian satellites – ASI’s LARES laser relativity satellite and the University of Bologna’s ALMASat-1 – as well as seven nanosatellites provided by European universities: e-St@r (Italy), Goliat (Romania), MaSat-1 (Hungary), PW-Sat (Poland), Robusta (France), UniCubeSat GG (Italy) and Xatcobeo (Spain).

The mission is intended to qualify the overall Vega system, including the vehicle itself, its launch infrastructure and the operations, from the launch campaign to the payload separation and safe disposal of the upper stage.

Following this qualification flight, the Vega launch system will be handed over to Arianespace to operate. The company will also be in charge of offering this new launch capacity on the international market, with the goal of at least two missions per year. ESA will be an early customer of Arianespace’s new service through a commitment for five launches.

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Old 02-06-2012, 06:07 PM   #22
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Aviation Week: Vega Launcher Targets Government Market
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:03 PM   #23
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GO VEGA GO
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:56 PM   #24
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Quote:
Watch online: Vega qualification flight
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM5Y9WX7YG_index_0.html

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Old 02-11-2012, 08:36 AM   #25
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BBC article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16986043

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Old 02-12-2012, 06:50 PM   #26
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http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMP6HYXHYG_index_0.html

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Final ‘go’ for Vega launch


12 February 2012
Vega is all set for launch on Monday. The new launcher passed its final hurdle on Saturday at Europe’s Spaceport, the Launch Readiness Review, and is ready for liftoff.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:36 PM   #27
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a video shows first mission payloads ...

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Old 02-13-2012, 11:50 AM   #28
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ESA:
ESA’s new Vega launcher scores success on maiden flight

13 February 2012

PR 3 2012 - Vega, ESA’s new launch vehicle, is ready to operate alongside the Ariane 5 and Soyuz launchers after a successful qualification flight this morning from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

With Vega extending the family of launchers available at the spaceport, Europe now covers the full range of launch needs, from small science and Earth observation satellites to the largest missions like ESA’s supply freighters to the International Space Station.

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The new Vega launcher is ready for liftoff on Monday 13 February 2012.
Credits: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2012


The first Vega lifted off at 10:00 GMT (11:00 CET, 07:00 local time) from the new launch pad, and conducted a flawless qualification flight.

Vega’s light launch capacity accommodates a wide range of satellites – from 300 kg to 2500 kg – into a wide variety of orbits, from equatorial to Sun-synchronous. Its reference mission is 1500 kg into a 700 km-high circular Sun-synchronous orbit.

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On 13 February 2012, the first Vega lifted off on its maiden flight from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.
Credits: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2012


Vega will thus add to Europe’s set of launch services next to the Ariane 5 heavy-lifter and the Soyuz medium-class launcher already in service.

The combination of these three systems operating from French Guiana will also improve the efficiency of Europe’s launch infrastructure by sharing its operating costs over a larger number of launches.

“In a little more than three months, Europe has increased the number of launchers it operates from one to three, widening significantly the range of launch services offered by the European operator Arianespace. There is not anymore one single European satellite which cannot be launched by a European launcher service,” said Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA.

“It is a great day for ESA, its Member States, in particularly Italy where Vega was born, for European industry and for Arianespace.”

Vega launcher development started in 2003. Seven Member States contributed to the programme: Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

“Today is a moment of pride for Europe as well as those around 1000 individuals who have been involved in developing the world’s most modern and competitive launcher system for small satellites,” said Antonio Fabrizi, ESA’s Director of Launchers.

“ESA, with the technical support of the Italian and French space agencies, and about 40 industrial companies coordinated by the prime contractor ELV SpA, have made this enormous challenge a reality in under a decade of development.”

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Aviation Week: European Vega Scores Flawless Debut




To learn more about this particular Vega VV01 launch and its payloads, see: "[Launch News] LARES, ALMASat-1 & 7 CubeSats atop Vega VV01, Feb. 13, 2012" thread.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:25 PM   #29
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Spaceflight Now: Vega launcher program courts German participation:
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Buoyed by the successful first flight of Europe's Vega launcher, the head of the German space agency Monday moved to open negotiations to build a new upper stage to replace Vega's Ukrainian upper stage orbit-adjust engine.

If a deal is made, a new upper stage would bring production of all Vega stages into European Space Agency member states.

Germany is not one of the seven ESA member states contributing money to the Italian-led Vega program, which was developed to offer a European-made launcher for small research satellites.

Vega can launch up to 1,500 kilograms, or 3,306 pounds, into a sun-synchronous orbit 435 miles high.

Enrico Saggese, president of the Italian space agency, said he received a call Monday from Johann-Dietrich Woerner, executive chairman of the German Aerospace Center, or DLR. Saggese said Woerner suggested Germany was ready to join the Vega program.

"I must say that we are proud of the seven countries who participated in the program," Saggese said. "We are ready to have with us other fathers."

Woerner congratulated Saggese on the successful launch and offered to discuss German support for a European upper stage for Vega, according to Andreas Shutz, a DLR spokesperson.

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Old 02-14-2012, 08:49 PM   #30
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Hop on the train when everything is done already by someone else?
And the upper stage seems to be fine, why build a new one that has never flown? Vega seems to work fine, so don't bring in new risk factors.
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