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Spaceflight Orchestrates Smallsat Launch on Arianespace’s Vega

By | April 18, 2018

Vega lifts off for the VV04 mission in 2015. Photo: Arianespace.

Arianespace has signed an agreement with Spaceflight Industries for the launch of several small payloads. This will be the inaugural mission for Spaceflight customer spacecraft on an Arianespace vehicle.

The initial batch of spacecraft is slated for launch aboard Vega in early 2019 from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Center. The contract with Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries covers a microsatellite and a significant number of CubeSats to be launched on the Small Spacecraft Mission System (SSMS) Proof of Concept (POC) flight as well as on a subsequent Vega SSMS flight about one year later.

The Vega POC flight will also be the first mission of the SSMS, a modular carbon fiber dispenser developed within a program initiated by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2016, with the contribution of the European Commission. For all the European partners involved, its purpose is to address the burgeoning institutional and commercial small spacecraft market with a new rideshare concept.

Vega is part of the Arianespace launcher family, alongside the heavy lift Ariane 5 and the medium Soyuz, operated from the Guiana Space Center. Avio, based in Colleferro, Italy is the industrial prime contractor for Vega and the design lead for the SMSS.

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