ESA’s Vega VV02 rocket is now fully assembled on its launch pad, 22 April, 2013. Final preparations are in full swing for the rocket’s inaugural flight.
Vega VV02 is the first of the five flights scheduled in ESA’s Vega Research and Technology Accompaniment – VERTA – programme, which aims to demonstrate the flexibility of the launch system. At a minimum rate of two launches per year, the programme will allow the smooth introduction of Vega for commercial exploitation.
VV02 will loft Proba-V, the first of four ESA missions, into space. Proba-V carries a reduced version of the Vegetation instrument currently flying on the Spot satellites to provide a daily overview of global vegetation growth.
This first VERTA flight will also demonstrate Vega's capability to launch multiple payloads. The second payload is the Vietnam Natural Resources, Environment and Disaster Monitoring Satellite (VNREDSAT) built by Astrium for the Vietnamese government.
Vega VV02 is scheduled for liftoff from the Spaceport on 4 May, 2013 (GMT).
Read the latest on ESA's Proba-V vegetation tracking microsatellite: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Technology/Proba_Missions