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Vega (P120 based)

Vega-C (LARES 2) [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 are 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 Ukrainian RD-843 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 is an updated version, while the AVUM will get 150 kg more fuel, 100 kg less in structural mass and will be called AVUM+. A new 3.3 m fairing is also introduced.

Vega-C was planned for a maiden flight in 2019, but was eventually delayed to 2022.

Version Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4
Vega-C P120C Zefiro-Z40 Zefiro-Z9A AVUM+ / RD-843
Vega-E P120C Zefiro-Z40 MIRA / LM10-MIRA -
Performance (kg) LEO LPEO SSO GTO GEO MolO IP
Vega-C 2300 - - - -
Vega-E - - - -
No:  TNr: Type:   Serial:   Date:        LS         Payload

 1    1   Vega-C     VV21   13.07.2022   Ko ELV     LARES 2 / AstroBio CubeSat / GreenCube / TRISAT R / CELESTA / MTCube 2 / ALPHA
 2    2   Vega-C     VV22   21.12.2022   Ko ELV  F  Pléiades-Neo 5 / Pléiades-Neo 6


 x    x   Vega-C     .      xx.xx.2024   Ko ELV     Biomass
 x    x   Vega-C            xx.xx.2026   Ko ELV     ClearSpace 1
 x    x   Vega-C     .      xx.xx.2025   Ko ELV     CO2M A (Sentinel 7A)
 x    x   Vega-C     .      xx.xx.2026   Ko ELV     CO2M B (Sentinel 7B)
 x    x   Vega-C            xx.xx.2025   Ko ELV     CO3D 1 / CO3D 2 / CO3D 3 / CO3D 4 / ?
 x    x   Vega-C            xx.xx.2025   Ko ELV     CSG 3
 x    x   Vega-C            xx.xx.2024   Ko ELV     EarthCARE
 x    x   Vega-C            xx.xx.2025   Ko ELV     FLEX / ALTIUS
 x    x   Vega-C            xx.xx.2024   Ko ELV     KOMPSAT 6
 x    x   Vega-C            xx.xx.2024   Ko ELV     KOMPSAT 7
 3    3   Vega-C     VV24   xx.11.2024   Ko ELV     Sentinel 1C
 x    x   Vega-C     .      xx.2H.2024   Ko ELV     Sentinel 1D
 x    x   Vega-C     .      xx.xx.2024   Ko ELV     Sentinel 3C
 x    x   Vega-C            xx.xx.2025   Ko ELV     SMILE
Rideshare payloads (unassigned):


MicroCarb; StriX TBD

Launch sites:

Ko  = Centre Spatial Guyanais (CSG), Kourou, French Guiana, France France

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