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Vega

Vega (LARES) [ESA]

Vega-C [ESA]

Vega-E [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
Vega-E P120C Zefiro-Z40 ? -
Performance (kg) LEO LPEO SSO GTO GEO MolO IP
Vega 2300 1740 - - - -
Vega-C - - - -
Vega-E - - - -
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 C2 / SkySat C3 / SkySat C4 / SkySat C5
 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 French Guiana

* = Suborbital
Note: IXV payload suborbital, AVUM upper stage reached orbit