Arianespace organized the first Vega Users' Day on Monday, July 9 in Rome, bringing together several dozen users, manufacturers and government representatives involved in the Vega launch system, to review the latest member of Arianespace's family of European launch vehicles.
The European Space Agency (ESA) announced the detailed results of the flight data analyses for the first launch of Vega, on February 13 this year. With a perfect launch orbiting no less than nine satellites, this first mission qualified the launcher and its launch pad. Arianespace emphasized to its customers the advantages of the Vega rocket for launches into low Earth orbit, scientific payloads and Earth observation satellites, requiring special launch preparations for which the Guiana Space Center is perfectly suited.
Capable of carrying a 1,500 kg payload to an altitude of 700 km, Vega is on track to establish itself as the best launcher in its class. Arianespace has already signed several Vega launch contracts for ESA’s and the European Commission’s Sentinel 2 and 3 satellites, the DZZ-HR satellite for Kazakhstan and the Taranis scientific satellite for French space agency CNES.
During his introductory address for the first Vega Users’ Day, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall said: “This is a very special day here in Rome today, culminating tremendous efforts over the last dozen years to bring Vega to market. We always believed in the success of Vega, and the contracts we just signed are fully reward our confidence and augur well for many more contracts in the future.” Vega is an ESA program financed by Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden. Operated by Arianespace from the Guiana Space Center, the Vega launcher is produced by the Italian company ELV, owned by Avio (70%) and the Italian space agency ASI (30%).
Arianespace is the world’s leading satellites launch company, providing innovation to its customers since 1980. Backed by 21 shareholders and the European Space Agency, the company offers an international workforce renowned for a culture of commitment and excellence. As of 09 July 2012, 207 Ariane launches (303 payloads), 26 Soyuz launches (2 at the Guiana Space Center and 24 at Baikonur with Starsem) and the first launch of Vega had been performed. The company has a backlog of 22 Ariane 5, 15 Soyuz and 4 Vega launches, equal to more than three years of business.