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SFS News: Announcement of opportunity for second flight of..

Posted by: Klaus Schmidt - Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:48 pm
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SFS News: Announcement of opportunity for second flight of.. 
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Post SFS News: Announcement of opportunity for second flight of..   Posted on: Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:48 pm
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Artist's impression of Vega small launcher in flight

(ESA) - On Friday 25 July, ESA announced an opportunity to embark payloads on the second flight of the Vega small launcher planned for mid 2010. This will be the first of five flights that are planned to demonstrate Vega’s versatility to the space community.

Vega is ESA’s new, small launcher, composed of three solid propellant stages and a bipropellant, liquid-fuelled upper stage. Development started at the end of 2000 and the Vega launch system is now in its qualification phase.

The Vega qualification flight is planned for November 2009. A few months later, once the flight data has been analysed, a flight qualification review will be conducted.

Vega research and technology accompaniment programme

The VEga Research and Technology Accompaniment (VERTA) programme started in 2006 and has three main components:

the procurement of five launches (VERTA flights)
a Customer Service Improvement (CSI) programme
production accompaniment and technological activities
The objective of the VERTA flights is to demonstrate to the space community the flexibility of Vega launch system. These launches will carry several ESA missions such as ADM-Aeolus, Swarm, LISA Pathfinder and Proba-3.

The main activity of the CSI programme is the development of the multiple-payload launch capability for Vega.

The Vega exploitation phase will start with the five VERTA flights, from early 2010. Arianespace will operate the Vega launch system from the European Spaceport in Kourou (Centre Spatial Guyanais – CSG), as an addition to the existing launcher fleet of Ariane 5 and Soyuz, providing the necessary capabilities and flexibility to cover all customers’ needs.

ESA and Arianespace are cooperating to implement the VERTA 1 flight, starting with this Announcement of Opportunity.

Announcement of Opportunity

The objective of this Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is to commence the payload selection process for the VERTA 1 flight (Vega second flight). The selection process is organised in two phases, this international AO, followed by a Call for Proposal (CFP).

The AO is open to any private or public entity, without restriction as to nationality.

VERTA 1 mission objectives

The primary objective of the VERTA 1 mission is to demonstrate the multiple-payload capability of the Vega launch system.

The orbit currently under consideration for the mission is a low-Earth, Sun-synchronous orbit in the 500–800 km altitude range. The selection of the target orbit will be made by ESA on the basis of the results of this AO and the best technical and economic compromise.

The following spacecraft accommodation possibilities are currently under consideration and will be adapted depending on the results of this AO:

two spacecraft, each with a mass in the range 300–500 kg
one 300–500 kg spacecraft and several 100–150 kg spacecraft
multiple spacecraft with masses in the 100–150 kg range

In addition, the VERTA 1 mission will provide a flight opportunity for a number of very small educational spacecraft that will be the subject of an AO from ESA’s Education Office.

“Vega is now entering a new and exciting phase by offering this flight opportunity to the space community. I'm convinced that the service Vega has to offer will fulfil the expectations of users worldwideâ€


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:08 pm
Did someone say GLXP?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:48 pm
I said that to Rob Goldsmith..I'm curious what he'll get out of the X-Prize Teams ;)

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:04 pm
lol, would be lovely if some of them left some posts here! We will see what we get out of them :)

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Post Very Exciting - If Priced Right!   Posted on: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:53 pm
This is a very encouraging development. The big question, of course, is Launch Costs $$$. After learning that Ariane' s new “Small Payloadâ€


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:26 am
ESA offers a detailed form for the bidding

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:51 pm
Just spoke with Alberto Rovetta (Team Italia) and he said "it looks a good opportunity"

Could be interesting!

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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:14 am
Just spoken with Pete Bitar of Lunatrex

Quote:
Thanks Robert,

I think we would consider it, but there is no pricing data that I could find…

The issues would include ITAR and also the fact that if we went up as a secondary payload from Florida, the prize money is $2 million more…

Nevertheless, it is worth a look.

Thanks again,
Pete


..interesting ;)

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Post    Posted on: Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:14 am
Update from Richard

http://spacefellowship.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?t=7136

Rob

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