I think this means it's about 4 years behind its original predicted first launch date.
That said this will be the first *major* engine to use electromechanical actuators for TVC.
it is a major achievement for Italian industry.
By the end of the year the LARES laser relativity satellite from Italy’s ASI space agency together with at least six small CubeSats and ALMASat-1 from European universities will be ready and enclosed in the fairing.
The ESA Cubs have been developed by more than 250 university students from six different countries over the last 4 years. Each CubeSat carries its own scientific or technology demonstration payload. The six CubeSats to be launched on Vega in late January 2012 comprise: - Xatcobeo (a collaboration of the University of Vigo and INTA, Spain): a mission to demonstrate software-defined radio and solar panel deployment; - Robusta (University of Montpellier 2, France): a mission to test and evaluate radiation effects (low dose rate) on bipolar transistor electronic components; - e-st@r (Politecnico di Torino, Italy): demonstration of an active 3-axis Attitude Determination and Control system including an inertial measurement unit; - Goliat (University of Bucharest, Romania): imaging of the Earth surface using a digital camera and in-situ measurement of radiation dose and micrometeoroid flux; - PW-Sat (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland): a mission to test a deployable atmospheric drag augmentation device for de-orbiting CubeSats; - MaSat-1 (Budapest University of Technology and Economics): a mission to demonstrate various spacecraft avionics, including a power conditioning system, transceiver and on-board data handling. A seventh CubeSat is planned to be delivered, installed in a third P-POD and tested during the next two weeks.
That said this will be the first *major* engine to use electromechanical actuators for TVC.it is a major achievement for Italian industry.
- Xatcobeo (a collaboration of the University of Vigo and INTA, Spain)- Robusta (University of Montpellier 2, France)- E-St@r (Politecnico di Torino, Italy)- Goliat (University of Bucharest, Romania)- PW-Sat (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland)- MaSat-1 (Budapest University of Technology & Economics, Hungary)- UniCubeSat GG (Universitá di Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Italy)
The primary payload on the Vega inaugural flight is the spherical Laser Relativity Satellite (LARES), which is installed on-board the LARES System along with AlmaSat-1 (an ASI Educational Satellite built by University of Bologna, Italy), and the P-PODs of the 7 ESA CubeSats.