All About Vega, Europe’s Light Launcher

 

Vega is a rocket which is looked after by Arianespace. The primary role of this rocket is to send small size payloads or even spacecraft to the lower earth orbits. Two major space agencies, The European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency, along with the help of other agencies had started launching with the support of Vega since the year of 2012. The name of the rocket has been given after the brightest star in the constellation which is known as Lyra.

Till May 2018, Vega has launched 11 times, and all of them have been entirely successful. Some of the memorable launches made by this rocket include IXV European space plane and also the LISA Pathfinder mission. It was this mission that was set out to examine gravitational waves in the space. 

The European Space Agency has made a plan to prepare a successor of Vega which is to be named as Vega C where C stands for Constellation. This new version of Vega is expected to send 2300 kilograms up to the low earth orbit which will be 60 percent more than what Vega used to carry. The first flight of this rocket is scheduled for 2019. Next in the pipeline is the Vega E, which will be highly developed for liquid oxygen/ liquid methane upper stage. The first launch of this rocket is however planned for 2024.

Vega dealt with its first launch in the year of 2012 which was nine years of hard work. At that time the rocket launched nine satellites into the orbit which also involved LARES laser relativity satellite, seven CubeSats and also ALMASat-1.

The first commercial launch was made on May 7 in the year of 2013, and it was the second lunch for Vega. This time the rocket lifted off three satellites into space which included Proba-V which belonged to the European Space Agency, VNRED Sat-1 which belonged to Vietnam and also the ESTCube Satellite-1 which belonged to the Estonian nation.

During the year of 2015, Vega lifted off a European Space plane which was named as IXV which was positioned at the suborbital space. The flight successfully cleared all the tests that were conducted. Another test flight is scheduled to be made in the year of 2019. IXV made a safe and secure landing in the ocean after 100 minutes while the next mission will have a touchdown on the land. It will either use a landing gear, or it will take the help of a parachute-like parafoil.