Vega-C successfully completes inaugural flight
ESA’s new Vega-C rocket has completed its inaugural flight, placing main payload LARES-2 – a scientific mission of the Italian Space Agency ASI – into its planned orbit. Six research CubeSats from France, Italy and Slovenia flew as secondary payloads. The launch caps a multi-year effort by ESA, prime contractor Avio and industrial partners in 13 ESA member states to build on the heritage of its predecessor, Vega.
Flight VV21 lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. This mission lasted about 2 hours and 15 minutes from lift-off to release of final payload and final burn of the AVUM+ upper stage engine.
Total payload mass at liftoff was approximately 474kg: 296 kg for LARES-2, with the remainder being the six CubeSats, payload adapters and carrying structures. (More)