Feeds

ESA's first Vega rocket blasts off without a hitch

Europe's small-load launcher joins the big boys

Security for virtualized datacentres

Europe's first Vega launcher blasted off in South America today in a successful qualification flight that signals the rocket is ready for use.

Vega lifted off at 10am from a new launch pad at the European Space Agency's site in Kourou, French Guiana. The "flawless" flight means the Vega will join ESA's Ariane 5 and Soyuz launchers to give the agency the ability to launch wee satellites as well as heavy and medium lift-offs.

"Vega’s light launch capacity accommodates a wide range of satellites - from 300kg to 2500kg - into a wide variety of orbits, from equatorial to Sun-synchronous. Its reference mission is 1500kg into a 700km-high circular Sun-synchronous orbit," the ESA said.

Vega has been in development since 2003, with Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland all contributing to the project.

"Today is a moment of pride for Europe as well as those around 1000 individuals who have been involved in developing the world’s most modern and competitive launcher system for small satellites,” said Antonio Fabrizi, ESA’s director of launchers, in a canned statement.

“ESA, with the technical support of the Italian and French space agencies, and about 40 industrial companies coordinated by the prime contractor ELV SpA, have made this enormous challenge a reality in under a decade of development.” ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.