ESA title
Vega launch site
Enabling & Support

Vega launch site

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Transportation / Launch vehicles

The Vega launch site at Europe’s Spaceport is located at the previous ELA-1 complex, originally used for Ariane 1 and Ariane 3 missions.

The pad and infrastructure have been adapted to meet Vega’s requirements. It retains the original flame ducts, which channel Vega’s exhaust gases during ignition and liftoff. A new fixed umbilical mast provides power and environmental control connections to the launcher and its payloads from mission preparation to the final countdown and liftoff.

Launcher preparation takes place on the pad inside a mobile gantry that houses all the support equipment to assemble and check the vehicle.

The gantry provides a protected environment for launch personnel. Its height is 50 m and weighs more than 1000 t.

Operational Control Centre

The Operational Control Centre for Vega is located in the Launch Control Centre built for Ariane 5. It houses Vega’s operational and monitoring systems.

Payload preparation complex

Vega payloads benefit from Ariane 5’s state-of-the-art facilities. The payload preparation buildings accommodate satellite and control equipment unpacking, mechanical assembly work, electrical and mechanical inspections, and checkout of the various platform and payload subsystems.

Final integration of the payload composite takes place at the complex before its transfer to the launch pad for hoisting onto the top of the launcher.

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