February 12, 2012
Watch Online: Vega Qualification Flight
Join us for the first qualification flight of the Vega launch vehicle on Monday 13 February, with a launch window open from 11:00 to 12:30 CET (10:00 to 11:30 GMT). Vega will lift off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, to release nine satellites into orbit and add a new capability to Europe's fleet of launch systems. Live transmission starts at 10:40 CET.
The payload consists of two Italian satellites — ASI´s LARES laser relativity satellite and the University of Bologna´s ALMASat-1 — as well as seven picosatellites provided by European universities: e-St@r (Italy), Goliat (Romania), MaSat-1 (Hungary), PW-Sat (Poland), Robusta (France), UniCubeSat GG (Italy) and Xatcobeo (Spain).
The mission is intended to qualify the overall Vega system, including the vehicle itself, its launch infrastructure and the operations, from the launch campaign to the payload separation and safe disposal of the upper stage.
Image Caption: ESA´s new Vega rocket is now fully assembled on its launch pad. Final preparations are in full swing for the rocket´s inaugural flight. Flight VV01 will lift off from the new Vega launch site at Europe´s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, carrying nine satellites into orbit: the LARES laser relativity satellite and ALMASat-1 from ASI with seven CubeSats from European Universities. Credits: ESA - M. Pedoussaut, 2012
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