Feb 13 set as new date for Europe's Vega rocket
The European Space Agency (ESA) said on Friday that the first launch of a long-awaited light rocket, Vega, which had been pencilled for February 9, would take place on February 13.
Vega is being deployed at a new pad at ESA's space base at Kourou, French Guiana, to complement ESA's heavyweight Ariane 5 and the Russian-made medium launcher Soyuz.
An ESA spokesman told AFP that the new date was within the launch window and would not interfere with the next big mission from Kourou, the deployment of a supply freighter to the International Space Station (ISS) in March.
Under development since 1998, the 30-metre (100-feet) rocket is designed to hoist payloads of up to 1.5 tonnes to an altitude of 700 kilometres (437 miles).
Italy has shouldered nearly 60 percent of the 710-million-euro (930-million-dollar) cost.
(c) 2012 AFP