Commercial liftoff for Europe's smallest launcher

Apr 30, 2014
Vega liftoff on flight VV03. Credit: Arianespace

The third launch by Europe's new small launcher, Vega, has delivered Kazakhstan's first satellite for high-resolution Earth observation into its planned orbit.

Liftoff of flight VV03 from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana came at 01:35 GMT on 30 April (03:35 CEST; 22:35 local time on 29 April).

The DZZ-HR satellite was released into the target Sun-synchronous circular orbit at 750 km altitude and an inclination of 98.54º precisely 55 minutes and 29 seconds after launch.

This satellite feeds a complete range of civilian applications for the Republic of Kazakhstan. The high-resolution images will be used for mapping, monitoring natural and agricultural resources, and search and rescue during natural disasters.

KazEOSat-2, as it will be named once in its , was built by Airbus Defence and Space and is expected to operate for more than 7 years.

Vega's payload mass for this launch was 918 kg, of which 830 kg was the satellite.

Vega is a 30 m-high, four-stage vehicle designed to accommodate between 300 kg and 2.5 tonnes of payload depending on the orbit and altitude.

A flawless maiden flight in February 2012 was followed in May 2013 by the first of the 'Verta' flights to prove the system's flexibility.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Vega flight VV03 liftoff replay. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace

On its second mission, Vega delivered three satellites into two different orbits and then, to help keep space clean, safely disposed of the upper stage to burn up high in the atmosphere over the ocean – a complex mission sequence made possible by the flexibility of the and the Vespa multisatellite adapter.

Through this launch, Vega has entered into commercial exploitation and is being operated in conjunction with the heavy-lift Ariane 5 and medium-lift Soyuz rockets at Europe's Spaceport to provide a full range of services meeting the varied demands of the launchers market.

Explore further: Kazakh satellite to be launched into orbit

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Kazakh satellite to be launched into orbit

Apr 24, 2014

Kazakhstan's first-ever Earth observation satellite is to be fired into orbit next week from the European spaceport in Kourou in French Guiana, launch company Arianespace said.

Second launch this year for Ariane 5

Mar 25, 2014

An Ariane 5 launcher lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on its mission to place two telecom satellites, Astra-5B and Amazonas-4A, into their planned transfer orbits.

First Vega rocket assembled on launch pad

Jan 30, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- ESA’s new Vega rocket is now fully assembled on its launch pad. Final preparations are in full swing for the rocket’s inaugural flight from Europe’s Spaceport. The launch window ...

Video: Sentinel-1 separation in space

Apr 07, 2014

This superb footage was acquired by cameras on the Soyuz Fregat upper stage that released Sentinel-1 into orbit on 3 April 2014. It shows the Sentinel-1 satellite separating from the Fregat to start its life in orbit around ...

Vega to fly ESA experimental reentry vehicle

Dec 19, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The launch of ESA’s IXV Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle on Europe’s new Vega rocket is now in detailed planning, a major step towards the craft’s flight in 2014.

Vega rocket ready for first flight

Jan 20, 2012

Final checkout of Europe’s new Vega launcher was completed last Friday, marking another milestone towards its maiden flight from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Recommended for you

European Data Relay System on track

1 hour ago

The first component of Europe's space data highway passed several critical tests this summer replicating the harsh launch and space conditions it will soon have to endure.

Student science projects explode with rocket

4 hours ago

Eighteen groups of students have lost science projects that were onboard an unmanned rocket that exploded in Virginia after taking off for the International Space Station.

Russian rocket engines suspected in launch blast

14 hours ago

Crews searched for scorched wreckage along the Virginia coast Wednesday in hopes of determining why an unmanned commercial rocket exploded in a blow to NASA's strategy of using private companies to send supplies ...

What is Orbital Sciences?

14 hours ago

NASA pays it billions. Its rockets sport mythical names like Minotaur and Pegasus. And its $2 billion deal to resupply the International Space Station had gone well—until this week.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.