Launch campaign

Vega’s Zefiro-9 arrives at launch pad

The first Vega launch campaign began on 7 November 2011 at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana with the installation of the P80 first stage on the pad.

The two solid-propellant second and third stages, the Zefiro-23 and Zefiro-9, were then transferred from the Vega Booster Storage and Preparation Building and added to the vehicle.

All three stages underwent final acceptance, including testing of their thrust vector control system. The next step was to move the AVUM – Attitude & Vernier Upper Module – liquid-propellant fourth stage to the pad for mating.

The ‘upper composite’ – the fairing and payload – was moved to the pad and integrated on 24 January.

It was followed by final checkout of the fully assembled launcher and the countdown rehearsal.

Watch first Vega launch campaign (Timelapse)

Main events

13-14 Oct 2011 First Flight Readiness Review
24 Oct 2011 Vega boosters and LARES satellite arrive in Kourou Harbour
7 Nov 2011 Launch campaign begins with the P80 transfer to launch pad
2 Dec 2011 Zefiro-23 is added to the launcher
7 Dec 2011 Second Flight Readiness Review gives go ahead for final preparations
9 Dec 2011 Zefiro-9 is added to the vehicle
16 Dec 2011 AVUM transfer to launch pad and mating
13 Jan 2012 Final checkout activities
24 Jan 2012 Upper composite transfer to launch pad for integration
2 Feb 2012 Launch countdown rehearsal
3-6 Feb 2012 Fuelling of restartable AVUM fourth stage
12 Feb 2012 Arming of vehicle
13 Feb 2012 Launch countdown and liftoff

Last update: 13 February 2012

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