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Vettore Europeo di Generazione Avanzata

Vega is a European launcher under ESA program, operated by Arianespace and launched from Kourou. It was developed by the ASI Italian space agency.

Vega is compatible with payload masses ranging from 300 kg to 2,500 kg, depending on the type and altitude of the orbit required by the customers. The benchmark is for 1,500 kg into a 700 km-altitude polar orbit.

4-stage rocket: Vega has three solid-propellant stages and a liquid-propellant upper module for attitude and orbit control, and satellite release. With a height of 30 m and a diameter of 3 m, Vega weighs a total of 137 t at liftoff.

P80 first stage: 3040 kN max thrust, 107 s burn
Zefiro-23 second stage: 1200 kN max thrust, 71.6 s burn
Zefiro-9 third stage: 313 kN max thrust, 117 s burn
AVUM fourth stage: 2450 kN max thrust, 317 s burn, restartable upto 5 times.

Vega C, planned in 2020 now 2024, is to increase the load capacity and number of small satellites per launch to 2200 kg in 700 km polar orbit. The P120C, 13.5 m long x 3.4 m diameter, will be used for the first stage of Vega, and as Ariane 6's strap-on booster. The second stage will use the Zefiro-40 (7.6m long and 2.4m diameter; burns 92s and generates 1300 kN thrust). The third stage uses a solid fuel Zefiro-9 motor (3.9m long, 1.9m diameter). AVUM+ as fourth stage, providing 2.45 kN thrust. Will accomodate a 3.3 m diameter fairing.

The Space Rider system is to build a reusable space transportation system to be launched from 2024 on Vega C for unmanned missions and for access and return to LEO. Will be able to remain in orbit for 2 months and return and land precisely. Can be reused for up to 6 missions. The platform will be 9.7m long and weigh 2430 kg (wet) and can accomodate upto 600kg payload. Two landing sites are planned: Kourou in French Guiana and Santa Maria in the Azores islands (Portugal). Industrials participants include Thales Alenia Space, Avio, Altec, Telespazio

Vega E planned in 2025 will have 3 stages. The 2 first stages will be derived from Vega C: P120C first stage, Zefiro 40 second stage). The new third stage M10 is the liquid oxygen-methane cryogenic upper stage which is the core of Vega E preparation. The M10 engine to power the upper stage in 2025 has a 3D-printer thrust chamber.

Vega launches

# Launch id Payload Launch date Ariane id Type Status (orbit in perigee x apogee x inc. x period)
1 12006 A: Lares
B: Almasat 1

PWsat 1
Masat 1
Robusta 1A
13 Feb 2012 VV01    
2 13021 A: Proba V
B: Vnredsat 1A
C: ESTCube 1
7 May 2013 at 02:06 UT VV02   787 x 828 km x 98.7°
3 14024 Kazeosat 1 30 Apr 2014 at 01:35 UT VV03    
4 n/a IXV space plane 11 Feb 2015 at 13:40 UT VV04   suborbital launch
5 15028 Sentinel 2A 23 Jun 2015 at 01:51 UT VV05    
6 15070 LISA Pathfinder 3 Dec 2015 at 04:04 UT VV06   213 x 1482 km x 6°
going to L1 point
7 16058 A: Perusat 1
B: Skysat 4
C: Skysat 5
D: Skysat 6
E: Skysat 7
16 Sep 2016 at 01:43 UT VV07    
8 16073 Gokturk 1 5 Dec 2016 at 13:51 UT VV08    
9 17013 Sentinel 2B 7 Mar 2017 at 01:49 UT VV09   1208 kg
10 17044 A: Optsat 3000
B: Venus
02 aug 2017 at 01:58 UT VV10    
11 17070 Mohammed VI-A 8 Nov 2017 at 01:42 UT VV11    
12 18066 ADM-Aeolus 22 Aug 2018 at 21:19 UT VV12    
13 18095 Mohammed VI-B 21 Nov 2018 at 01:42 UT VV13    
14 19015 Prisma IT 22 Mar 2019 at 01:50 UT VV14    
15 n/a FalconEye 1 11 Jul 2019 at 01:53 UT VV15   Failure: second stage failed, identified as a thermo-structural failure
16 20061 A: Nusat 6
B: Esail
D: Athena
E: UPMsat 2
F: Nemo HD
G: GHGsat C1
H: Simba
J: Trisat
K: Picasso-Bel
L: Flock 4V
M: Flock 4V
N: Dido 3
P: Flock 4V
Q: Flock 4V
R: Amicalsat
S: Flock 4V
T: Flock 4V
U: Flock 4V
V: Flock 4V
W: 3CAT 5A
X: 3CAT 5B
Y: OSM1 Cicero
Z: Tyvak 0171
AA: Flock 4V
AB: Flock 4V
AC: Lemur 2
AD: Lemur 2
AE-AR: Spacebee 11 to 21
AS: Hamarik
AT: Flock 4V
AU: Flock 4V
AV-AY: Lemur 2
AZ: Tars
BA: Napa 1
BB: Flock 4V
BC: Flock 4V
3 Sep 2020 at 01:51 UT VV16   Small Spacecraft Mission Service with 53 satellites. 2 Lemur satellites failed to separate from the dispenser
17 n/a Ingenio/Seosat
17 Nov 2020 at 01:52 UT VV17   Failure: loss of control of the AVUM upper stage (switched command cables)
18 21034 A: Pleiades Neo 3
C: AII Bravo
D: Tyvak 0182A
E: Norsat 3
2 x Lemur
29 Apr 2021 at 01:50 UTC VV18    
19 21073 A: BRO 4
B: Radcube
C: Sunstorm
D: Ledsat
E: Pleiades Neo 4
17 Aug 2021 at 01:47 UTC VV19    
20 21105 Ceres 1, 2, 3 16 Nov 2021 at 09:27 UTC VV20    
21 22080 A: Lares 2
B: Robusta 1F / MTCube 2
C: Astrobio
D: Trisat R
E: GreenCube
F: Alpha
G: Robusta 1D / Celesta
13 Jul 2022 at VV21 C  
22 n/a Pleiades Neo 5 and 6 21 Dec 2022 at 01:47 UTC VV22 C Failure: second stage engine Zefiro 40 failed at 2m 27s after launch.
23 23155 A: Theos 2
B: Formosat 7R
H: Pretty
J: Macsat LU
Anser x3
ESTCube 2
CSC 1 and 2
9 Oct 2023 at 01:36 UTC VV23    
Launched from Kourou

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