ESA contract to advance Vega-C competitiveness
(16 Dec 2021) ESA's Vega-C launch vehicle will fly in the second quarter of 2022 offering more performance to all orbits and extended mission flexibility at a similar cost to the current Vega. A new contract aims to widen these mission capabilities to capture new opportunities and satisfy emerging market needs to 2027.
The ESA-Avio contract is worth €51 million over two and a half years. Under this contract, Avio as prime contractor to ESA for the Vega and Vega-C launcher systems will work with industrial partners to put into action a series of improvements intended to enable Vega-C to meet a wider range of market needs.
These developments will also reduce launch service costs and comply with the payload allocation policy approved by the ESA Council, through the achievement, in the short term, of three major high-level objectives.
- The activities are intended to reduce the main production and operation tasks thereby decreasing the launcher system cost by 10% and therefore the Vega-C launch service cost. In particular, it is planned to cut manufacturing costs for mechanical subsystems and components as well as optimise mission preparation and the launch campaign duration.
- A wider range of missions will be possible by increasing the launch system performance margins giving higher mission flexibility, still complementary to the Ariane 6 launch system, to cope with specific missions needs and constraints.
- Increasing versatility of the Vega-C launch system services is expected by offering ad-hoc launch services solutions based on a portfolio of available products, including small spacecraft mission services and dual-launch services.
Reference: ESA PR