Vega returns to flight: mission accomplished
53 micro and nanosatellites deployed into Sun-Synchronous orbit.-VIDEO
Today’s mission from Kourou’s spaceport in French Guiana marked a success for Vega’s return to flight. The European launcher, designed, developed and built by Avio, has placed in orbit 7 microsatellites weighing from 15 kg to 150 kg, along with 46 smaller CubeSats in a single rideshare thanks to the innovative SSMS (Small Spacecraft Mission Service) payload adapter. The spacecraft are to serve various applications, including Earth observation, telecommunications, science, technology and education.
The SSMS is a modular carbon fiber dispenser designed by Avio to meet the low Earth orbit (300 km and more from Earth) launch service demands for clusters of small satellites weighing anywhere between 1 kg (Cubesat or Cubesat clusters) and 400 kg (Minisat). Design authority for the multi-payload dispenser system is SAB Aerospace, an independent Italian SME (small/medium enterprise). The SSMS program, initiated by the European Space Agency (ESA) with the European Commission’s contribution, will boost the ability to offer ride-share solutions tailored for the flourishing small satellite market.
Below, the video about the launch:
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency