Watch the first launch of Europe’s Vega-C rocket

Watch the first launch of Europe’s Vega-C rocket

For its maiden flight, Vega-C will carry a scientific payload for the Italian Space Agency.

For its maiden flight, Vega-C will carry a scientific payload for the Italian Space Agency.
Photo: ESA

The European Space Agency is ready to launch its brand new Vega-C rocket. Here’s what you need to know about the mission and how you can watch this latest medium-lift rocket lift off for the very first time.

Update: July 13, 9:26 a.m. ET: ESA’s new Vega-C rocket successfully lifted off at 9:13 a.m. ET (1:13 p.m. UTC) from the space agency’s launch facility in Guyana. The countdown had been stopped twice, but the third restart proved to be the charm. Fairing separation was confirmed approximately 5 minutes after launch.

The original post follows.

All stacked up Vega-C The launcher, with its four stages, stands about 114 feet tall (35 meters) atop the European Spaceport’s launch pad in French Guiana. The medium-lift rocket is scheduled to lift off as early as Wednesday, July 13 at 7:13 a.m. ET, pending launch conditions, according at ESA. The space agency will begin streaming the launch event at 6:45 a.m. ET on ESA web TV.

Launch of Vega-C

For its first trip to Earth orbit, Vega-C will carry the Italian Space Agency’s LARES-2 as its primary payload. The satellite is designed to measure an effect on spacetime known as frame slip, which is when the rotation of a massive object affects the motion of objects around it. The rocket will also carry six cubesats, one to test ways to detect biomolecules in space, one to test plant growth in microgravity and another to study Earth’s magnetosphere. The other three cubesats will be used to study the effects of space radiation on electronic systems.

Concept image showing a Vega-C launch.

Concept image showing a Vega-C launch.
Image: Arianespace

Vega-C is a single body launcher without a booster. Instead, it is fitted with three solid propulsion stages and an additional liquid propulsion upper module. It is designed to succeed the small Vega launcher, in service for ten years. When Vega was first launched in February 2012, it ushered in a new era for ESA, delivering small and medium payloads into orbit. As a successor, Vega-C was fitted with a more powerful first and second stage, as well as an improved reignitable upper stage. Built by Arianespace, the rocket will be able to deliver 3.3 metric tons to low Earth orbit and 2.2 metric tons to polar orbit.

“Vega-C features major improvements from Vega, both in the rocket and its ground infrastructure,” Renato Lafranconi, Vega programs manager, said in a statement. statement. “We have developed a new configuration with significant changes to many features of a proven concept, but the aim is to make major improvements in performance and competitiveness.”

The end result is that Vega-C has greater liquid propellant capacity, allowing it to deliver payloads to multiple orbits and stay in space for longer periods of time. The rocket can also deliver larger satellites or carry two main payloads. It will also be able to carry out ridesharing missions, in which a large number of small satellites are sent into space at relatively low cost.

And it all starts on Wednesday, or so we hope. Good luck to ESA as it seeks to strengthen its launch capabilities.

After: We can’t wait for these futuristic rockets to finally take off.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *