Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

ESA's Vega Launcher Has Successful Maiden Flight

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the russia-take-note dept.

Space 32

Zothecula writes "The European Space Agency's new Vettore Europeo di Generazione Avanzata — or Vega — launch vehicle lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 10 a.m. GMT on February 13 on its maiden flight. Designed for launching small payloads, Vega is intended to complement Europe's existing family of launchers that includes the Ariane 5 heavy-lifter and Soyuz medium-class launchers. The qualification flight, designated VV01, saw the first Vega successfully carry nine satellites into orbit."

cancel ×

32 comments

Chevy? (2)

garyoa1 (2067072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39037671)

Hope they do better than Chevy's Vega.

Re:Chevy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39037757)

Great. Now I have Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega going through my head. Better than Luka, I guess.

Re:Chevy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39047493)

Curse you.

What NASA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39041151)

Since NASA does not have a launcher any longer you can rename your agency to NO-VA ("is not").

I'm sure the Europeans and Russians will continue to let you hitchhike using their vehicles and facilities, it's not like there are any political differences that could stop that cooperation...

Goliat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39037981)

First Romanian satellite was launched named Goliat !

Re:Goliat! (1)

cronco (1435465) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043747)

Considering it's a 10cm^3 cube [esa.int] , it's good to know we still have our sense of (self-)irony :)

Never quite understood this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39038021)

Why did the ESA replace the (European) Ariane 4 with the Soyuz, anyway? Both are capable of lifting 3 tonnes, so what was the thinking there?

Re:Never quite understood this (4, Interesting)

2Y9D57 (988210) | more than 2 years ago | (#39038115)

ESA replaced Ariane 4 with Ariane 5 -- the last A4 launch was 15 February 2003 -- for cost reasons. two satellites on an A5 for less that twice the cost of an A4 launch. Soyuz didn't start launching from French Guiana until 2011.

Re:Never quite understood this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39038181)

Then why introduce the Soyuz-ST with a launch capacity that is almost exactly the same as the Ariane 4? There was either a need for a 3 tonne launcher or there wasn't. What am I missing?

Re:Never quite understood this (4, Informative)

Super_Z (756391) | more than 2 years ago | (#39039377)

Soyuz is man-rated [guardian.co.uk] . Ariane 4 apparently never had the amount of instrumentation needed for man-rating.

Re:Never quite understood this (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043191)

Not from French Guiana, as that would mean landing in the ocean, which it cannot do.

Re:Never quite understood this (1)

root_42 (103434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043673)

Then why introduce the Soyuz-ST with a launch capacity that is almost exactly the same as the Ariane 4? There was either a need for a 3 tonne launcher or there wasn't. What am I missing?

I am not sure, but I guess that costs per launch are a reason. With Soyuz, a bunch of russian companies manufacture the rocket parts and final assembly and erection happen in Kourou. I guess that this frees ESAs resources considerably, compared to having to make an Ariane 4 in Europe. Furthermore, I don't see any Ariane 4 integration buildings anymore on ESAs map of the Centre Spatial: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Plan_Centre_Spatial_Guyanais-en.svg [wikipedia.org]
It is likely that the buildings that were used for Ariane 4 have been assimilated by the Ariane 5 pipeline. So either way you would have had to build a new integration and erection facility, so it seems that Soyuz-ST was the most efficient and reliable way to do that.

Re:Never quite understood this (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 2 years ago | (#39042883)

Around 1980, ESA came to the conclusion that by the end of the '90s, Ariane 4 would no longer be large enough to lift the predicted satellites to GEO. That's why ESA developed Ariane 5.

ESA has been considering Soyuz since at least 2004. I suspect using Soyuz instead of Ariane 4 was a matter of cost.

As for manned Soyuz launches: the capsule hasn't been designed for sea landings, according to a 2004 ESA report [space.com] . So manned launches would require a redesign.

europe's spaceport? (1)

iiii (541004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39038105)

Why is "Europe's Spaceport" in South America? Isn't that South America's Spaceport?

Re:europe's spaceport? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39038145)

Why is "Europe's Spaceport" in South America? Isn't that South America's Spaceport?

Mind your own business ....

Re:europe's spaceport? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39038183)

Why is Hawaii part of the United States of America? It's not in America?

Although it is geographically in South America, French Guiana is an overseas region of France, and hence considered to part of the EU politically.

As to why ESA put their spaceport there: You want to launch eastward (to get the best "speed boost" from Earth's rotation), and you get the best boost at (or near) the equator. You also want to launch over water, in case the thing comes back down unexpectedly. French Guiana is close to the equator and has an ocean to the east -- mainland Europe has neither.

Re:europe's spaceport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39038259)

The equator is also directly below geostationary orbit.

Re:europe's spaceport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39042207)

Why doesn't NASA launch from Hawaii?

Re:europe's spaceport? (2)

Dusty (10872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39038355)

Why is "Europe's Spaceport" in South America? Isn't that South America's Spaceport?

"Europe's Spaceport" [esa.int] is in Kourou [wikipedia.org] , in French Guiana. Which is a French colony in South America.

Re:europe's spaceport? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39042087)

It's not a colony. It is a French department on equal standing as any other mainland department. They vote for national and EU elections and use the euro.

Re:europe's spaceport? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39039251)

Those French prisoners have had a devil of a time trying to escape. Nice to see their creativity rewarded with success.

Re:europe's spaceport? (1)

timbo234 (833667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39042187)

It's not South America's because French Guiana is part of France (and thus the EU), in the same way that Hawaii is part of the US despite being gegraphically separate. I.e. unlike with the UK and a lot of other European countries France has made their former colonies 'regions' with the same status as the regions in European France.

Re:europe's spaceport? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39047193)

Not all of them. There are more then a few African nations using French that are not of France. And was not Vietnam a french colony at one point?

Re:europe's spaceport? (1)

timbo234 (833667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39047531)

I meant the ones that haven't gone independent, i.e. the status of these regions within France is very different to, say, the status of the British Overseas Territories in the UK's political structure

Re:europe's spaceport? (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 2 years ago | (#39042329)

It's Europe's space port because ESA built, paid for and runs the facility.

As for why it's in SA: Europe wanted a site that was close to the equator (to take advantage of the Earth's rotational speed, and to make launches to GEO easier). Also, Europe isn't a good place to launch rockets from, due to rocket stages impacting downrange.

Plas, plas, plas, AAA+++. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39038235)

In Europa, a clusterfuck of satellites is a SUCCESS for them!

JCPM: and it will come us space trashing, and in the falling a clusterfuck of boiling fires.

loose political association between satellites (4, Funny)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#39038357)

The 9 satellites are expected to fly in a lose formation based on political and trade cooperation. If any satellite fails, the mission will fail. Each satellite will manage it's own fuel, but always report that it's got plenty of fuel, until the moment that it has none. :)

The loose problem is a good solution. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39038841)

Poor countries can put their lightweight satellites to this ESA's launcher system VEGA at lower costs that are affordable for them!.
And for little time of development!
And they could have the specifications of the satellites's boxes that the ESA could provide them (engineering dimensions of the payloads).

Collaborative countries don't need fear the confidentiality of their satellites. ESA could provide mechanisms camera-vigilated (among other mechanisms) that in the time for the launching, from their embassies in the ESA building, they will start to run their satellites's cars into the launching platforms in lesser time that was walking between their local embassies and the zero time for the launching.

Loose political collaboration between satellites is a SAFETY for PRIVACY of technologies from many countries (poor countries can benefit from it at affordable commercial costs).

LOOSENESS and PRIVACYNESS could be compatible.

JCPM: in the past, Boeing vs Airbus in the aerial space, in the present, NASA vs ESA in the Earth's low-orbit race, in the future, hahahaha, a mistery.

Re:The loose problem is a good solution. (1)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#39040699)

I don't understand how you managed to generate all this meaningless text from my satirical post above.

Nonetheless....I am particularly impressed with your claim that

LOOSENESS and PRIVACYNESS could be compatible.

Re:The loose problem is a good solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39040929)

Yes, my claim is useful!

Imagine two scenarios X & Y.

  1. 1. Scenario X: one satellite from one launcher for two countries that reject to reveal information of their instruments each other. It won't work for their needs in this shared collaborative scenario.
  2. 2. Scenario Y: two satellites from one launcher for two countries that reject to reveal information of their instruments each other. It will work perfectly well under my claim above :)

JCPM :)

Eagerly awaiting follow-up launchers (3, Funny)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39040055)

Bison, Sagat and Balrog.

Newspaper ad on VEGA payload (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39042857)

Today Corriere della Sera, the main Italian daily, was carrying a whole page ad on VEGA. It claimed something like: it's so cheap that your research project could be up here in space.

So cool!

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...