Enabling & Support

Verta flights to demonstrate Vega

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Transportation / Launch vehicles

Arianespace is now fully responsible for the commercial operation of Vega at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

ESA’s Verta (Vega Research and Technology Accompaniment) programme demonstrated the capability and flexibility of the system. The Verta period ended with the launch of ESA’s LISA Pathfinder scientific satellite on 3 December 2015 on Vega’s sixth flight.

Vega’s lofting of IXV, Sentinel-2A and LISA Pathfinder in 2015 demonstrated the capacity of the system to reach three missions per year.

The Verta flights ensured the smooth transition for Vega from development to handover to full commercial exploitation.

Following the Qualification Flight (VV01), carrying Italy’s LARES experimental payload, AlmaSat-1 from the University of Bologna, and seven ESA CubeSats, Vega performed five Verta flights, described in the table: 

Flight Demonstration Payload
  • First Verta flight
  • Upper module capability to change both the inclinations and the orbital altitudes to deploy multiple satellites in different orbital planes using the Vespa dispenser
  • Sun-synchronous polar orbit
  • New flight software
  • New ground station


  • ESA’s Proba-V
  • VNREDSat 1A (Vietnamese Earth observation satellite)
  • ESTCube-1 (Estonian picosatellite)


VV03 Exploitation flight KazEOSat 1DZZ-HR (Kazakh Earth observation satellite)
VV04 Suborbital equatorial trajectory with the payload nearing Vega’s maximum capacity ESA’s IXV spaceplane
VV05 Exploitation flight ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-2A
VV06 Release into an elliptical low Earth transfer orbit ESA’s LISA Pathfinder scientific satellite

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