Vega (LARES) [ESA]
Vega is an ESA project for a small, solid-fueled launcher for low earth orbit payloads. It is compatible with payload masses ranging from 300 kg to 2500 kg, depending on the type and altitude of the orbit required by the customers. The benchmark is for 1500 kg into a 700 km-altitude polar orbit.
The Vega launch vehicles is launched from the refurbished ELA-1 complex, now redesignated ELV, at Kourou.
For the basic Vega launch vehicle, the first stage was originally a two-segment version of the Ariane-5 booster, but later in the development process the complete new P80FW first stage was developed. The second and third stages will be versions of the italian Zefiro motor, namely the Z23 and Z9. A liquid fuel propulsion module called AVUM forms stage 4, which is powered by a russian RD-869 engine of R-36M2 heritage.
Due to the reignitable fourth stage, Vega is able to place multiple payloads into orbit. In particular, it offers configurations able to handle payloads ranging from a single satellite up to one main satellite plus six microsatellites.
The improved Vega-C introduces some new motors. The first stage will consist of the P120C motor, which will also be used for the Ariane-6 launcher. As second stage, the larger diameter Zefiro-Z40 will be introduced. The third stage will remain the same, while the AVUM will receive some updates and will be called AVUM+.
Vega-C is planned for a maiden flight in 2019.
|Version||Stage 1||Stage 2||Stage 3||Stage 4|
|Vega||P80FW||Zefiro-Z23||Zefiro-Z9||AVUM / RD-869|
|Vega-C||P120C||Zefiro-Z40||Zefiro-Z9||AVUM+ / RD-869|
No: TNr: Type: Serial: Date: LS Payload
1 1 Vega VV01 13.02.2012 Ko ELV LARES / ALMASat 1 / e-st@r / Goliat / MaSat 1 / PW-Sat 1 / ROBUSTA / UniCubeSat-GG / XaTcobeo / LARES-A&H/SS 2 2 Vega VV02 07.05.2013 Ko ELV Proba V / VNREDSat 1a / ESTCube 1 3 3 Vega VV03 30.04.2014 Ko ELV KazEOSat 1 4 4 Vega VV04 11.02.2015 Ko ELV * IXV / AVUM VV04 5 5 Vega VV05 23.06.2015 Ko ELV Sentinel 2A 6 6 Vega VV06 03.12.2015 Ko ELV LISA Pathfinder Planned: 7 7 Vega xx.09.2016 Ko ELV PerúSat 1 / SkySat 4 / SkySat 5 / SkySat 6 / SkySat 7 8 8 Vega xx.xx.2016 Ko ELV Göktürk 1A x x Vega xx.xx.2017 Ko ELV ADM-Aeolus x x Vega-C ? xx.xx.2020 Ko ELV CERES 1 / CERES 2 / CERES 3 x x Vega xx.xx.2019 Ko ELV Falcon Eye 1 x x Vega xx.xx.2019 Ko ELV Falcon Eye 2 x x Vega xx.xx.2017 Ko ELV OpSat-3000 / VENµS x x Vega xx.xx.2017 Ko ELV Sentinel 3B x 1 Vega-C xx.xx.2019 Ko ELV ? Launch sites: Ko = Centre Spatial Guyanais (CSG), Kourou, French Guiana * = Suborbital Note: IXV payload suborbital, AVUM upper stage reached orbit