Vega VV01 launch campaign
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.

With Vega extending the family of launchers available at the spaceport, Europe now covers the full range of launch needs, from small science and Earth observation satellites to the largest missions like ESA’s supply freighters to the International Space Station.

The first Vega lifted off at 10:00 GMT (11:00 CET, 07:00 local time) from the new launch pad, and conducted a flawless qualification flight.

Vega will thus add to Europe’s set of launch services next to the Ariane 5 heavy-lifter and the Soyuz medium-class launcher already in service.

The combination of these three systems operating from French Guiana will also improve the efficiency of Europe’s launch infrastructure by sharing its operating costs over a larger number of launches.

Vega launcher development started in 2003. Seven Member States contributed to the programme: Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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