Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vega on track to meet 2007 deadline

16.03.2005


There are just under three years to go to the first launch of a new European launcher – Vega. Last week representatives of over 20 European space industries met at ESA’s European Space Research Institute, ESRIN, just outside Rome in Italy, to discuss progress on this new small-scale launcher.



“The preliminary project stage is now completed,” said Stefano Bianchi, responsible of the Launch Vehicle Development Programme. “We are now moving from the drawing board to the construction of the launchers, by building and testing systems and the motors. This is decidedly the most critical phase of the development.”

Vega, comparatively small at only 30 m compared to the 53 m Ariane 5 ECA, will be capable of placing payloads weighing from 300 to 2000 kg into the polar and low-Earth orbits used for many scientific and Earth observation missions. This should enable it to play a significant role in the global market for launching small satellites.


“Arianespace, the society that will commercialise Vega, have confirmed that there are already at least three to four potential clients for Vega," says Bianchi. "This is a fantastic opportunity for Europe to enter a new market which is why we must be ready for the first qualification launch, sometime towards the end of 2007.”

One of Vega’s strong points will be its flexibility and this, together with its low cost, should make it popular with small businesses, research institutes and European universities. Vega will give Europe for the first time the possibility of placing satellites into orbit at a relatively low cost.

These low costs have been made possible by the Vega strategy. This is to use, whenever possible, technology already developed for the Ariane 5 programme, leading to an important reduction in initial costs. In turn, new elements developed for Vega can be used by the next generation of Ariane 5 launchers. One example is the P80 first stage motor, specially developed for Vega using low-cost technology, which could be used for an Ariane 5 booster engine.

A similar strategy has been used to adapt existing launch infrastructure at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Savings have been made by adapting the ELA 1 site, used for the very first Ariane launch in 1979, instead of building a new launch site.

“To win the challenge of meeting the first launch date in 2007,” says Bianchi, “we need a well coordinated industrial team, we can’t allow ourselves to miss this deadline.”

The first firing test of Vega’s Zefiro solid rocket motor will take place this year in Sardinia. At Kourou, work on preparing the launch site for Vega is proceeding to plan.

Altogether seven ESA Member States are contributing to the Vega programme. Italy is providing 65% of the costs and France around 15% while the remainder is being met by Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Stefano Bianchi | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.int

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'
26.05.2017 | University of Leicester

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>