Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Mar 06, 2013
The no. 2 Vega light-lift launcher has been fitted with its solid propellant third stage, marking another milestone in preparations for its April mission from French Guiana with a multi-satellite payload.
In the latest activity at the Spaceport's ZLV launch site, Vega's Zefiro 9 stage was installed atop its lower two solid propellant stages, which were stacked during previous integration activity.
This clears the way for a "top off" of the basic Vega launcher with its bi-propellant liquid upper stage Attitude and Vernier Upper Module, which performs the attitude control and axial thrust functions during the final stages of flight - enabling the payload to be placed in orbit.
The flight next month will carry the Proba-V, VNREDSat-1A and ESTCUBE-1 satellites, and follows Vega's on-target maiden launch in February 2012 with a payload of nine spacecraft - which served as its qualification mission.
Created by Europe as a capable lightweight launcher, Vega is tailored to orbit small- to medium-sized satellites, including institutional and scientific spacecraft. It joins the two other members of Arianespace's vehicle family: the medium-lift Soyuz and heavyweight Ariane 5.
Vega resulted from a European Space Agency program led by Italy's ASI space agency and industrial prime contractor ELV SpA.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|