Announcement of opportunity for the launch of multiple light satellites on a Vega flightVEGA is a small launcher developed by ESA composed of three solid propellant stages and a bi-liquid upper stage. The launch system has been designed to carry a 1500 kg Spacecraft on its reference low earth orbit mission (700 km circular polar). The launcher has to date successfully performed all its eight flights.In 2014 ESA initiated activities to preliminary assess the feasibility of an improved service dedicated to SmallSats to expand the launcher in-orbit capability to ride-share concepts. The Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) is planned to be ready for a first flight on a Vega launch in the second half of 2018. VEGA SSMS project is targeted to the definition of VEGA service elements tailored for light satellites, notably: a) adapter and dispenser system structures, mechanisms and avionics; b) mission analysis and launch preparation processes and tools by adaptation of the VEGA standard ones.The objective of this Announcement of Opportunity is to identify and pre-select Candidate Spacecrafts for a first Vega flight based on SSMS hardware and processes. The selection process is described at chapter 4. The European Commission adopted on 26 October 2016 the Communication on the Space Strategy for Europe. With the objective of reinforcing Europe's autonomy in access to space, the Commission identified possible areas of action which include supporting research and innovation efforts, in particular to ensure Europe's ability to react to and anticipate disruptive changes; encouraging the development of commercial markets for new space activities.
Quote from: Kosmos2001 on 02/21/2017 02:57 PM[...]A similar project is underway for Soyuz-ST and Ariane-62 versions