The Vega launch vehicle ready for launch
The first Vega lifts off at 10:00 GMT (7:00 local time) from the new launch pad on its maiden flight
The Vega VV01 mission timeline and flight profile (Image: ESA - J. Huart, 2012
Artist's impression of Vega's inaugural flight (Image: ESA - J. Huart, 2012)
ESA's new Vega rocket on its launch pad awaiting launch (Photo: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2012)
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) new Vettore Europeo di Generazione Avanzata - or Vega - launch vehicle lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 10 a.m. GMT on February 13 on its maiden flight. Designed for launching small payloads, Vega is intended to complement Europe’s existing family of launchers that includes the Ariane 5 heavy-lifter and Soyuz medium-class launchers. The maiden flight saw the first Vega successfully carry nine satellites into orbit.
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