Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vega On Track To Meet 2007 Deadline

Date:
March 24, 2005
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
There are just under three years to go to the first launch of a new European launcher – Vega. Vega, comparatively small at only 30 m compared to the 53 m Ariane 5 ECA, will be capable of placing payloads weighing from 300 to 2000 kg into the polar and low-Earth orbits used for many scientific and Earth observation missions.

Artist's view of Vega, Europe's new small launcher, scheduled for launch in 2006.
Credit: s: ESA-J. Huart

There are just under three years to go to the first launch of a new European launcher – Vega. Last week representatives of over 20 European space industries met at ESA’s European Space Research Institute, ESRIN, just outside Rome in Italy, to discuss progress on this new small-scale launcher. “The preliminary project stage is now completed,” said Stefano Bianchi, responsible of the Launch Vehicle Development Programme. “We are now moving from the drawing board to the construction of the launchers, by building and testing systems and the motors. This is decidedly the most critical phase of the development.”

Vega, comparatively small at only 30 m compared to the 53 m Ariane 5 ECA, will be capable of placing payloads weighing from 300 to 2000 kg into the polar and low-Earth orbits used for many scientific and Earth observation missions. This should enable it to play a significant role in the global market for launching small satellites.

“Arianespace, the society that will commercialise Vega, have confirmed that there are already at least three to four potential clients for Vega," says Bianchi. "This is a fantastic opportunity for Europe to enter a new market which is why we must be ready for the first qualification launch, sometime towards the end of 2007.”

One of Vega’s strong points will be its flexibility and this, together with its low cost, should make it popular with small businesses, research institutes and European universities. Vega will give Europe for the first time the possibility of placing satellites into orbit at a relatively low cost.

These low costs have been made possible by the Vega strategy. This is to use, whenever possible, technology already developed for the Ariane 5 programme, leading to an important reduction in initial costs. In turn, new elements developed for Vega can be used by the next generation of Ariane 5 launchers. One example is the P80 first stage motor, specially developed for Vega using low-cost technology, which could be used for an Ariane 5 booster engine.

A similar strategy has been used to adapt existing launch infrastructure at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Savings have been made by adapting the ELA 1 site, used for the very first Ariane launch in 1979, instead of building a new launch site.

“To win the challenge of meeting the first launch date in 2007,” says Bianchi, “we need a well coordinated industrial team, we can’t allow ourselves to miss this deadline.”

The first firing test of Vega’s Zefiro solid rocket motor will take place this year in Sardinia. At Kourou, work on preparing the launch site for Vega is proceeding to plan.

Altogether seven ESA Member States are contributing to the Vega programme. Italy is providing 65% of the costs and France around 15% while the remainder is being met by Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Vega On Track To Meet 2007 Deadline." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050323151854.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2005, March 24). Vega On Track To Meet 2007 Deadline. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050323151854.htm
European Space Agency. "Vega On Track To Meet 2007 Deadline." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050323151854.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) A comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system passed extremely close to Mars this weekend, giving astronomers a rare opportunity to study it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) Argentina launches a home-built satellite, a first for Latin America. It will ride a French-made Ariane 5 rocket into orbit, and will provide cell phone, digital TV, Internet and data services to the lower half of South America. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

NASA (Oct. 17, 2014) Power spacewalk, MAVEN’s “First Light”, Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) The smallest of Saturn's main moons, Mimas, wobbles as it orbits. Research reveals it might be due to a global ocean underneath its icy surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins