Avio Vega rocket page.


Manufacturer: Avio
Cost: $37 million
Stages: 3 or 4
Height: 30 m (98 ft)
Diameter: 3 m (9.8 ft)
Mass: 137,000 kgs (302,000 lbs)
Payload capacity (to SSO): 1,450 kgs (3,200 lbs)
Maiden flight: February 13, 2012


Vega: in development
Vega-C: in development
Vega-E: in development
Vega Light: proposed

Stage 1

Length: 11.7 m
Diameter: 3 m
Engine: P80
Fuel: HTPB (Solid)
Thrust: 2,261 kN (508,300 lbf)
Burn Time: 110 seconds

Stage 2

Length: 8.39 m
Diameter: 1.9 m
Engine: Zefiro 23
Fuel: HTPB (Solid)
Thrust: 871 kN (195,800 lbf)
Burn Time: 77 seconds

Stage 3

Length: 4.12 m
Diameter: 1.9 m
Engine: Zefiro 9
Fuel: HTPB (Solid)
Thrust: 260 kN (58,450 lbf)
Burn Time: 120 seconds

Upper Stage – AVUM

Length: 1.7 m
Diameter: 1.9 m
Engine: 1x RD-843
Fuel: UDMH/N2O4
Thrust: 2.42 kN (544 lbf)
Burn Time: 667 seconds

Upper Stage – AVUM

The Vega is a light launch vehicle developed by the Italian Space Agency and the European Space Agency (ESA), manufactured by Avio, and operated by Arianespace. Development of the rocket began in 1998 and it was launched for the first time on February 13, 2012, from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana.

The four-stage Vega launch vehicle features solid propellant first, second, and third stages that propel the rocket into orbit. The upper stage is powered by a liquid fuel RD-843 rocket engine and is designed to insert the payload into the required orbit.

Development of the Vega

In the mid-1990s, Italy began to champion the development of a solid-propellant satellite launcher dubbed the Vega. However, it soon became clear that the country could not bear the cost of development alone. The country approached the ESA with member states spending the next several years arguing about how the project would be funding, and if the rocket should be developed at all.

By 2003, development on the Vega had begun. However, the ESA member states directly funding the project continued to debate the vehicle’s purpose and design. It would not be until October 2011 that all major components had been assembled for the first Vega. Four months later, in February 2012 the first Vega was successfully launched carrying a number of small satellites including the LARES, [email protected], Goliat, MaSat-1, PW-Sat and the ROBUSTA.

Since its first launch, production has seen at least one launch a year with 2015 and 2017 featuring three Vega launches each. To date, the Vega has a 100% launch success rate.