Overview | Entry into service

Vega launch site > Overview

Vega’s launch site is based on the Spaceport’s ELA-1 complex, which originally was used for missions of the Ariane 1 and Ariane 3 vehicles. 

For Vega, the launch pad, mobile gantry and infrastructure have been updated and adapted where needed to meet the operational requirements of this new lightweight vehicle – with the site renamed the ZLV launch facility.

The launch pad retains its pair of original flame ducts, which will channel Vega’s exhaust gases during ignition and liftoff.  A new fixed umbilical mast provides power and environmental control connections to the launcher and its payloads from mission preparations through the countdown and liftoff.

Four tall towers have been positioned around the launch table to provide protection against lightning strikes.

During launch vehicle assembly and payload integration, the ZLV’s refurbished mobile gantry offers protection from the weather and provides proper working conditions for launch team personnel.  Once Vega is complete, the gantry is rolled back to its parked position, clear of the launch pad.

Vega’s operational control center will be inside the Spaceport’s Control Center no. 3 (CDL 3) facility, which also supports Ariane 5 missions.  Independent operational control and monitoring systems will used for Vega, while its co-location in the CDL-3 building will enable a sharing of resources with on-going Ariane 5 mission activity.

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