ESA's new medium-lift Vega-C rocket is nearly ready for its inaugural flight, with its four fully-stacked stages now ready for payload integration, final checks and launch from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. Flight VV21 will lift off as soon as 7 July, pending suitable conditions for launch.
Vega-C represents a dramatic capability boost compared to its predecessor, Vega, which has flown since 2012, increasing Vega's 1.5 t to about 2.2 t in a reference 700 km polar orbit.
Vega-C features, among others novelties, a composite grid Interstage 2/3, produced by AVIO using a technology developed at CIRA, in the Composite Prototypes Laboratory. It is the first example in Europe of a flying composite grid structure manufactured by Parallel Robotic Dry Winding (CIRA patent) and Infusion.
About Vega-C inaugural flight:
ESA - Vega-C set for inaugural launch
ESA - Vega
ESA - Vega-C stacks up for inaugural flight VV21