Arianespace’s small launcher, the Vega rocket, will conduct the launch of the VENµS and OPTSAT 3000 satellites on Tuesday evening in what will be the seventh Earth observation mission for the lightweight rocket. Lift off is set to occur at 01:58 UTC from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The four-stage launcher is tailored to carry the growing number of small scientific spacecraft and other lighter-weight payloads under development or planned worldwide.
During her early career, she has proven her versatility by successfully lofting a range of spacecraft into orbit. By offering configurations able to handle payloads ranging from a single satellite up to one main satellite plus six microsatellites, Vega will continue to have a busy life ahead of her.
This latest launch involves two satellites, mirroring the usual launch configuration of her big sister, Ariane 5, with the difference being the mass of the satellites and the adaptor. For Vega, the Vespa hosts the two satellites, instead of the SYLDA.
Arianespace started work on the vehicle back in 2003 – as much as the origins of the concept range back to the 1990s – with ELV SpA (Italy) the lead manufacturer.
Vega utilizes a P80 advanced ...