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ESA's new Vega launch vehicle

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posted on Feb, 12 2012 @ 04:47 PM
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ESA's new launch vehicle will be launched later today on its maiden flight. Hope everything goes fine. It will carry a payload of 9 satellites, and the main satellite is a very interesting one, that will allow them to test a part of Einstein's general relativity, the Lense–Thirring effect. The Lense-Thirring effect is the part of general relativity that describes the distortion of space-time caused by the rotation of a body with mass.

a bit about Vega (not the star
)

The Vega programme has its origins back in the 1990s, when studies in several European countries investigated the possibility of complementing the performance range offered by the Ariane family of launchers with a capability for smaller payloads. Although there is a growing tendency for satellites to become larger, there is still a need for a small launcher to place 300 kg to 2000 kg satellites, economically, into the polar and low-Earth orbits used for many scientific and Earth observation missions....
Vega is designed to cope with a wide range of missions and payload configurations in order to respond to different market opportunities and provide great flexibility. Unlike most small launchers, Vega is able to place multiple payloads into orbit. In particular, it offers configurations able to handle payloads ranging from a single satellite up to one main satellite plus six microsatellites.

Vega is compatible with payload masses ranging from 300 kg to 2500 kg, depending on the type and altitude of the orbit required by the customers. The benchmark is for 1500 kg into a 700 km-altitude polar orbit.


www.esa.int...

about the maiden launch :

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 14:00 CET (10:00 to 13:00 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.


You can watch the launch over here :
www.esa.int...
edit on 12/2/2012 by Hellhound604 because: (no reason given)

edit on 12/2/2012 by Hellhound604 because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 12 2012 @ 05:51 PM
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reply to post by Hellhound604
 


Thanks up for the heads up.
I hope it all goes well for em. Must be so very nerve wracking for the people involved after so much time spent building / designing these things.



posted on Feb, 12 2012 @ 10:31 PM
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posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 08:59 AM
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OK, maiden flight was a success!!!


13 February 2012 PR 3 2012 - Vega, ESA’s new launch vehicle, is ready to operate alongside the Ariane 5 and Soyuz launchers after a successful qualification flight this morning from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.


www.esa.int...



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