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Vega March 7, 2014

The no. 3 Vega for launch receives its solid propellant second stage

Vega’s Zefiro 23 second stage is integrated on the launcher in these photos, beginning with its hoisting to the appropriate level of the SLV launch site’s mobile gantry (photos at left). In the photos at right, the Zefiro 23 is positioned atop the Vega’s P80 first stage.

Launch vehicle integration is continuing at the Spaceport for Arianespace’s next light-lift Vega mission, which is to orbit the Republic of Kazakhstan government’s DZZ-HR high-resolution observation satellite from French Guiana.

Build-up of the smallest member in Arianespace’s launcher family marked a new milestone this week when its Zefiro 23 solid propellant second stage was integrated atop the P80 first stage, which also uses solid propellant.

Vega’s vertical assembly process is being performed on the SLV launch pad, protected by a mobile gantry that will be withdrawn prior to the vehicle’s liftoff. This complex uses the same site previously employed for missions from French Guiana with the cornerstone Ariane 1 and 3 vehicles – having been updated and adapted where needed to meet operational requirements of the lightweight launcher.

The 900-kg.-class DZZ-HR satellite was built for the Republic of Kazakhstan by Airbus Defence and Space. To be deployed in a Sun-synchronous orbit, it will deliver very-high-quality panchromatic and multispectral products for a wide range of applications – including cadastral surveys, management of natural resources, environmental monitoring and homeland surveillance.

Vega is tailored for small- to medium-sized satellites, complementing Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz and heavyweight Ariane 5 to provide a complete family of vehicles operating side-by-side at the Spaceport. It was developed in a European Space Agency program led by Italy’s ASI space agency and industrial prime contractor ELV SpA.

The upcoming mission – Vega’s third overall – is designated VV03 using Arianespace’s numbering system, with the first “V” representing the French word for flight (“vol”), and the second letter referring to Vega.

Vega February 14, 2014

Another Vega launcher for Arianespace takes shape at the Spaceport

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