Vega-C, the new rocket of the European Space Agency (ESA), had its inaugural launch on Wednesday, at 16.13, Romanian time, the event representing the result of several years of work by the ESA, of the main contractor Avio and of the industrial partners from 13 ESA member states, announces the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA).
According to a ROSA release sent to Agerpres, Romania is one of these states that contribute to the Vega-C program, with entities from our country performing aerodynamic and acoustic tests, verifications and validations of the Vega-C navigation system, as well as the integration and validation systems for the Space Rider spacecraft that will fly with Vega-C.
“The configuration of the new rocket is an important step forward in terms of the flexibility of the launch system. Vega-C can launch larger satellites into orbit than Vega was doing, can launch two main payloads, and can be configured to launch small satellites to third parties. The ESA’s future spacecraft, the Space Rider, will also be launched into orbit with a Vega-C rocket,” the quoted source said.
The Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) has prioritized Romania’s participation in the Vega-C program, so that the space community in our country has access to and contributes to this key area: space transport.
“Romania’s participation in the optional ESA program for launchers and in particular in Vega-C, Ariane 6 and Space Rider represents for us a key investment in the future of the Romanian space field. We have thus opened the way for Romanian organizations to contribute to the achievement of the newest rockets and European space vehicles. Collaboration with major European integrators and European companies already established in the development of rockets has contributed to the development of critical capabilities in our country”, said the president of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), Marius-Ioan Piso, quoted in the press release.
According to ROSA, the National Institute for Aerospace Research and Development “Elie Carafoli” – INCAS designed and designed the rocket model, using multiple sensors. INCAS also performed aerodynamic and aeroacoustic tests at speeds between Mach 0.5 and Mach 3.5.
The development of rockets will continue even after Vega-C became operational. Another variant, Vega-E, will be built more simply – using a cryogenic upper stage instead of the Vega-C second and third stages.
Flight VV21 was operated by the ESA, the coordinator of the Vega-C program. Its construction was agreed at the ministerial meeting in December 2014, following the success of the Vega program. The stronger Vega-C rocket was ESA’s response to an expanding market and long-term institutional needs.
The ESA member states participating in the Vega-C program are Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.