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On the wave of Vega’s success, Member States at the ESA Ministerial meeting in December 2014 agreed to develop the more powerful Vega-C to respond to an evolving market and to long-term institutional needs.
Vega-C is expected to debut in 2020, increasing performance from Vega’s current 1.5 t to about 2.2 t in a reference 700 km polar orbit, covering identified European institutional users’ mission needs, with no increase in launch service and operating costs.
The participating states in this development are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The main objectives are to increase performances, reduce operating costs, provide cost-efficient launch services and reduce the dependency on non-European sources in launcher production at no extra cost.
Additional modifications are being studied to enable Vega to carry micro- and nanosatellites in order to be cost-effective in this emerging market.