Vega

The light launcher

Vega overview

The Arianespace commercial launcher family was expanded in 2012 with the addition of Vega, a new-generation vehicle for flights with small- to medium-sized satellite payloads. This European four-stage launcher is tailored to carry the growing number of small scientific spacecraft and other lighter-weight payloads under development or planned worldwide. Vega's target payload lift capability is 1,500 kg. on missions to a 700-km. circular orbit. Vega has an essential role within the family of European launchers, joining Ariane 5 (which is optimized for large satellites on missions to geostationary transfer orbit, and low-Earth orbits with very heavy payloads), and Soyuz (tailored for medium weight payloads for low-Earth orbit and certain smaller GTO spacecraft).

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vega

Vega overview

The Arianespace commercial launcher family was expanded in 2012 with the addition of Vega, a new-generation vehicle for flights with small- to medium-sized satellite payloads. This European four-stage launcher is tailored to carry the growing number of small scientific spacecraft and other lighter-weight payloads under development or planned worldwide. Vega's target payload lift capability is 1,500 kg. on missions to a 700-km. circular orbit. Vega has an essential role within the family of European launchers, joining Ariane 5 (which is optimized for large satellites on missions to geostationary transfer orbit, and low-Earth orbits with very heavy payloads), and Soyuz (tailored for medium weight payloads for low-Earth orbit and certain smaller GTO spacecraft).

ELV S.p.A.
Industrial prime contractor
1,500 kg.
Payload to circular polar orbit
1-2 / year
Avg. launch rate
  • 29.9 m
    Height
  • 3.025 m
    Diameter
  • 137 t
    Mass

Standard mission

  • Stages
  • Trajectory
  • STANDARD-MISSION_Vega_Etapes_002

    Industrial team

    The Vega launcher program – tailored to carry the growing number of small scientific spacecraft and other lighter-weight payloads – is led by industrial prime contractor ELV S.p.A.

    Avio Italy
    CRISA Spain
    Dutch Space Netherlands
    EADS CASA Spain
    Europropulsion France
    Galileo Avionica Italy
    INSNEC France
    KB Yuzhnove Ukraine
    Oerlikon Contraves Italia (O.C.I) Italy
    RUAG Space Switzerland
    S.A.B.C.A Belgium
    SAFT France
    Stork Product Engineering Netherlands
    SNECMA Propulsion Solid France
    Thales France
    More informations about Vega specifications only available on desktop and tablet website.

    Payload fairing

    VV03 Pose logos sur coiffe au S5, le 10/04/2014

    The Vega payload fairing – which is 7,880-meters-long and measures 2,600 meters in diameter – consists of two sandwich panel CFRP sheets, along with its aluminum honeycomb core.

    AVUM – Attitude and Vernier Upper Module

    AVUM – Attitude and Vernier Upper Module

    The AVUM (Attitude & Vernier Upper Module) has a bipropellant main propulsion system to provide orbital injection, and a monopropellant propulsion system for roll and attitude control.

    It is designed to inject different payloads into different orbits, and ensures the fine pointing of satellites prior to separation. At the end of the mission, it is deorbited under safe conditions to limit the amount of orbital debris.

    The AVUM contains about 577 kg. of liquid propellant (UDMH/NTO), distributed in four tanks. It is powered by an engine derived from the re-ignitable RD-869, providing 2.45 kN of thrust. It contains also 38.6 kg. of hydrazine to supply two sets of three monopropellant thrusters to control roll and attitude.

    ZEFIRO-9 third stage

    VV06 Erection Zefiro 9 en ZLV, le 19/10/2015

    ZEFIRO-9 third stage

    VV06 Erection Zefiro 9 en ZLV, le 19/10/2015

    The Vega’s second and third stages both use Zefiro solid rocket motors. These stages, each 1.9 meters in diameter, comprise a filament-wound carbon-epoxy case, with low-density EPDM insulation and a nozzle with flex-joints, equipped with electromechanical actuators to direct the thrust.

    The Zefiro 9 third stage is 4.12 meters long and is loaded with 10,567 kg of solid propellant HTPB 1912, providing maximum vacuum thrust of 317 kN. Although it is the smallest solid rocket motor on Vega, it offers the longest burn time, of approximately 120 seconds.

    ZEFIRO-23 second stage

    ZEFIRO-23 second stage

    The Vega’s second and third stages both use Zefiro solid rocket motors. These stages, each 1.9 meters in diameter, comprise a filament-wound carbon-epoxy case, with low-density EPDM insulation and a nozzle with flex-joints, equipped with electromechanical actuators to direct the thrust.

    The Zefiro 23 second stage is 8.39 meters long, and is loaded with 23,814 kg. of solid propellant HTPB 1912, providing maximum vacuum thrust of 1 120 kN. It operates for approximately 78 seconds.

    P80 solid propellant motor

    VV04 Transfert P80 du BIP en ZLV le 18/09/2014

    P80 solid propellant motor

    VV04 Transfert P80 du BIP en ZLV le 18/09/2014

    Vega’s first stage is powered by a large single-piece solid rocket motor (SRM) containing 87,710 kg. of the solid propellant HTPB 1912. This SRM delivers maximum vacuum thrust of 3, 015 kN and burns for approximately 113 seconds prior to being jettisoned at an altitude of about 58 km.

    The P80 first stage, a filament-wound carbon-epoxy case, has the same diameter (3 meters) as the solid boosters used on Ariane 5 and its overall length (11.2 meters) is similar to that of one of the longest segments of the solid booster.