One of the launch vehicles remaining in the disposition of Arianespace, Vega rocket, will soon show extended capability of delivering and deploying small satellites.
Vega, made y Avio, is smallest from launch vehicles offered by Arianespace on the market. According to European Space Agency, Vega will soon be equipped with new payload adapter. This will extend ability of Vega for delivering to orbit small satellites in various configurations. Adapter is known as Small Satellites Mission Service (SSMS) can fit satellites from 1 kg Cubesat up to small satellite with mass at 400 kg. First flight of the Vega rocket equipped with SSMS is scheduled for 2018 and is covered by program initiated by the ESA at the ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level in December 2016. SSMS is part of new vision presented by ESA, where particularly important place was reserved for small satellites created by different European institutions. Of course SSMS will be in future utilized for next generation of the European rockets: Ariane-6 and Vega-C.
Potential customers are invited to respond to the joint ESA and European Commission Announcement of Opportunity by 31 March 2017.