The Vega Research and Technology Accompaniment programme, Verta, was set up in December 2011 to support Vega’s transition from development to full commercial exploitation in a highly competitive market.
It comprised three main elements:
- Procurement of five Verta demonstration flights;
- Customer service improvements;
- Production accompaniment and technological activities.
The Verta flights carried three ESA missions: Proba-V, LISA Pathfinder and the Intermediate Experimental Vehicle (IXV).
The first Verta flight took place on 7 May 2013 following the launcher’s qualification flight on 13 February 2012.
The main customer service improvement activity during the Verta programme was the development of the multiple-payload launch capability for Vega.
With a minimum rate of two launches per year, the programme allowed the smooth introduction of this vehicle.
Vega’s first commercial launch contracts were signed on 14 December 2011 for the Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 satellites. Sentinel-2A was launched on 23 June 2015.
The Verta programme was completed on 3 December 2015 with the launch of LISA Pathfinder on Vega's sixth flight. Arianespace is now fully responsible for the commercial operation of Vega at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
Last update: 4 April 2016