Author Topic: ESA - Vega Updates  (Read 163445 times)

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #80 on: 10/04/2011 05:02 PM »
First Vega starts journey to Europe’s Spaceport

4 October 2011

The first elements of Europe’s new Vega small launcher left Italy last Thursday to begin their long journey to Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, marking the final step towards its inaugural flight in January.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMJY89U7TG_index_0.html

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #81 on: 10/06/2011 08:28 AM »
The first Vega for launch is heading to the Spaceport in French Guiana

October 5, 2011

The no. 1 Vega to operate from French Guiana is ready for its initial voyage, which will take the lightweight launcher from Europe to South America by sea – positioning the vehicle for an inaugural flight next January at the Spaceport.

Stocked aboard the MN Colibri roll-on/roll-off ship, the Vega is scheduled to depart Rotterdam in the Netherlands tomorrow on a transatlantic crossing to French Guiana for unloading and transfer to the Spaceport.   This will clear the way for a Flight Readiness Review on October 13-14, enabling the mission’s three-month launch campaign to begin in November.

Vega’s liftoff next January – with a multi-spacecraft payload composed of the LARES satellite and nine small cubesats from European universities – will serve as the vehicle’s qualification flight, opening a series of missions to demonstrate the launch system’s flexibility.

When it joins Arianespace’s family of launchers, Vega will be capable of lofting payload masses ranging from 300 kg. to 2,500 kg. depending on the type of orbit and altitude required by customers. The baseline mission is for a payload lift performance of 1,500 kg. to a 700 km. polar orbit.

For the upcoming ocean voyage, the MN Colibri is carrying Vega’s Zefiro-23 and Zefiro-9 solid rocket motors for its second and third stages, along with the launcher’s bi-propellant liquid AVUM upper stage – all of which were delivered from Avio’s facility in Colleferro, Italy, where they were produced.

These components were brought to the MN Colibri at the Port of Livorno in Italy, after which the vessel sailed to Rotterdam where the cargo was to be increased with the Vega’s Swiss-built payload fairing, the Dutch-produced interstage structure that links the launcher’s first two stages, as well as the LARES laser relativity satellite from Italy’s ASI space agency.

The MN Colibri is one of two sea-going vessels used by Arianespace in transporting launcher components between their European production locations to South America, and the upcoming ocean crossing repeats a process regularly employed in the shipment of heavy-lift Ariane 5s, as well as the medium-lift Soyuz.

After the Vega elements arrive in French Guiana, they will be integrated with the launcher’s P80 solid propellant first stage, which currently is undergoing final preparations in the Spaceport’s Booster Integration Building.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-soyuz-vega/2011/10-05-2011-vega-update.asp

Offline Proponent

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #82 on: 10/18/2011 02:11 AM »
A couple of questions about Vega's first stage.  It's designation, P80, suggests that it is French.  Is it?

Secondly, is it monolithic rather than segmented?

Offline Jason1701

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #83 on: 10/18/2011 03:03 AM »
A couple of questions about Vega's first stage.  It's designation, P80, suggests that it is French.  Is it?

Yes, it's Snecma-built. Not sure about the geometry.

Offline woods170

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #84 on: 10/18/2011 06:40 AM »
A couple of questions about Vega's first stage.  It's designation, P80, suggests that it is French.  Is it?

Yes, it's Snecma-built. Not sure about the geometry.

Minor nit: The P80 stage is built by the prime contractor Europropulsion, which is a subsidiary of Snecma.

Also: the P80 stage is monolithic in nature. See the attached image I pulled from an ESA presentation.
« Last Edit: 10/18/2011 06:53 AM by woods170 »

Online mmeijeri

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #85 on: 10/18/2011 07:08 AM »
Yes, it's Snecma-built. Not sure about the geometry.

It's a 50-50 joint venture between Avio (Italy) and Snecma (France). The nozzle is French, the steel P230 casings are made by MAN (Germany) and the rest including the new P80 filament wound casings is Italian.

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« Last Edit: 10/18/2011 07:09 AM by mmeijeri »
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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #86 on: 10/18/2011 07:24 AM »
Secondly, is it monolithic rather than segmented?

It's roughly an upgraded P230 segment + igniter + nozzle. The P230 has two such segments. There are some not very definite plans to apply the upgrades to the Ariane SRBs too, one day. Apparently that was a precondition for French involvement, although the French now appear to have set their sights on an all-liquid Ariane 6.
« Last Edit: 10/18/2011 07:25 AM by mmeijeri »
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Offline Proponent

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #87 on: 10/19/2011 02:49 AM »
Thanks for the info, everybody.

Will the P80 be the largest monolithic solid ever to fly?

Offline woods170

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #88 on: 10/19/2011 05:59 AM »
Thanks for the info, everybody.

Will the P80 be the largest monolithic solid ever to fly?

It was the largest monolithic solid when they started testing in 2006. If it still is today... I don't know.

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #89 on: 10/19/2011 12:35 PM »
There are some not very definite plans to apply the upgrades to the Ariane SRBs too, one day. Apparently that was a precondition for French involvement, although the French now appear to have set their sights on an all-liquid Ariane 6.

The reality is the decision on a new launcher has taken so long Ariane 5 will have to keep flying for some time even if Ariane 6 gets the go-ahead.  That's why the proposed early Ariane 6 variants are relatively low payload as they will replace Vega and Soyuz first.  I'd be surprised if Ariane 5 doesn't get updated EAPs from P80 technology before it's over. 

Will the P80 be the largest monolithic solid ever to fly?

P80 is the largest fibre wound monolithic solid ever, it is not the largest monolithic.
« Last Edit: 10/19/2011 12:39 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline woods170

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #90 on: 10/19/2011 01:14 PM »
Will the P80 be the largest monolithic solid ever to fly?

P80 is the largest fibre wound monolithic solid ever, it is not the largest monolithic.

I'll be asking the obvious question: what is the current largest monolithic solid rocket booster?

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #91 on: 10/19/2011 02:48 PM »
Actually re-reading the question yes it probably is the largest monolithic to ever to fly. The Apollo-era AJ-260-2 was much larger though, fired but not flown.

I'll be asking the obvious question: what is the current largest monolithic solid rocket booster?

Probably the Atlas V SRMs.  The P80 will be the current largest monolithic.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #92 on: 10/19/2011 03:08 PM »
Actually re-reading the question yes it probably is the largest monolithic to ever to fly. The Apollo-era AJ-260-2 was much larger though, fired but not flown.

I'll be asking the obvious question: what is the current largest monolithic solid rocket booster?

Probably the Atlas V SRMs.  The P80 will be the current largest monolithic.

I'm not sure that the P80 is larger than the Japanese SRB-A (used by the H-IIA and H-IIB rockets). It's definitely larger than the Atlas V SRMs or the GEM-60 though.
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Offline baldusi

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #93 on: 10/19/2011 03:54 PM »
Actually re-reading the question yes it probably is the largest monolithic to ever to fly. The Apollo-era AJ-260-2 was much larger though, fired but not flown.

I'll be asking the obvious question: what is the current largest monolithic solid rocket booster?

Probably the Atlas V SRMs.  The P80 will be the current largest monolithic.

I'm not sure that the P80 is larger than the Japanese SRB-A (used by the H-IIA and H-IIB rockets). It's definitely larger than the Atlas V SRMs or the GEM-60 though.
If the Japanese Wikipedia page is right, the biggest version, the SRB-A F7, is 77tonnes, vs the 88tonnes of the P80. With 2.285MN vs the 3.025MN. Seems to be the biggest to actually fly, yes.

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #94 on: 10/19/2011 05:29 PM »
Vega´s First stage - P80

The first stage of the Vega uses the biggest, most powerful one-piece solid-fuel engine ever built. The P80 relies almost entirely on Italian technology developed by Avio, and is made of innovative materials, such as carbon fibre, which are also used in the second and third stages. Exhaust nozzle components, are produced in France at the Snecma/Safran plants in Bordeaux.

Just under 11 m tall, this stage is 3 m in diameter, weighs 95 tons and burns ca 88 tons of solid propellant in little less than 2 minutes. The P80 generates a 300 ton thrust, the same as is produced by four Jumbo jets at take-off.

At the end of 2006, the first static bench test was carried out successfully at the Kourou Space Centre in French Guiana. The results were confirmed in late 2007, when the P80 passed its qualification test with flying colours, also at Kourou. 

- Length:  11.714 m
- Max diameter:  3.005 m
- Mass at Lift-off:  95 021 kg
- Burn time:  109.8 s
- Total Impulse:  240 470 KN s
- Structural Ratio:  7.67%

http://www.elv.it/en/launcher-vega/composizione-lanciatore/primo-stadio/

Jaxa´s Solid Rocket Booster (SRB-A)

- Height (m): 15
- Outside diameter (m): 2.5
- Mass (t): 306 (for four SRB-As in total)
- Thrust (kN): 9,220 In vacuum. Solid rocket booster's thrust is set to the maximum value. 
- Combustion time (s): 114
- Propellant type: Polybutadiene composite solid propellant
- Impulse to weight ratio (s): 283.6 In vacuum. Solid rocket booster's thrust is set to the maximum value. 
- Attitude control method: Movable nozzle

http://www.jaxa.jp/projects/rockets/h2b/design_e.html

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #95 on: 10/19/2011 05:32 PM »
October 17th, 2011

Flight Readiness Review authorizes launch campaign

On October 13th and 14th, at ESA ESRIN premises, the first Phase of the Vega launcher Flight Readiness Review has been held. The Project Team (ELV, Vitrociset) has presented to the Board formed by representatives from ESA (JJ Dordain, A. Fabrizi), CNES (Mme I. Rongier), ASI (E. Saggese) and Arianespace (JY Le Gall) the status of Vega Program, in order to obtain the formal authorization to begin the Integration and Launch Campaign.

The presentation has described:

- the mission objectives
- the qualification status for the LARES mission, in particular addressing  the LARES TM necessary to complete the qualification of VEGA launch system
- the launcher configuration
- the main conclusions and status of actions coming from previous reviews

At the end of the two days meeting the Review Board, considered the program progress status, has authorized the beginning of the launcher integration campaign, established at November 7th when the first stage A1A (P80 motor) will be transferred from BIP (Batiment Integration Propulseur) to Mobile Gantry.

http://www.elv.it/en/media-room/news/

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #96 on: 10/20/2011 04:39 AM »
That's why the proposed early Ariane 6 variants are relatively low payload as they will replace Vega and Soyuz first.  I'd be surprised if Ariane 5 doesn't get updated EAPs from P80 technology before it's over. 

You mean because the Italians will push for it if an all-liquid Ariane 6 does replace Vega and Soyuz? And what if anything will be the impact on the M51 missile or vice versa?
« Last Edit: 10/20/2011 05:17 AM by mmeijeri »
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #97 on: 10/27/2011 01:39 PM »
OT. Thread started Dec 2005.

It's taken a while.  :(


On topic they describe the MV Colibri as being the stages into Guyana but at least part of the Ariane boosters are cast on site.

Are the P80 and other stages fully loaded with propellant or are they basically shells with most (all) mixing and filling done on site?
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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #98 on: 10/27/2011 01:55 PM »
As I understand it, only the igniter is loaded in Italy, with the individual segments loaded in Kourou, just as with Ariane.
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Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Vega Updates
« Reply #99 on: 10/28/2011 01:49 PM »
Vega getting ready for exploitation

Evry, October 28, 2011

The Vega launch vehicle programme has recently taken several major steps towards operation:

- The decision has been made to start the qualification launch campaign; 

- ESA and Arianespace have ordered four new launchers;

- Studies for the launch of the LISA Pathfinder mission have started.

Launch campaign kickoff

The Flight Readiness Review (FFR) for the Vega launcher was held in Frascati, Italy on October 13 and 14. Based on this review, the Director-General of the European Space Agency (ESA) decided to start the Vega qualification launch campaign, with Arianespace's operating staff providing their support for this campaign. The stages for the qualification launcher arrived in Kourou on October 24, and the launch campaign will start on November 7, 2011 with the transfer of the first stage to the launch pad. The first launch is scheduled for the end of January 2012.
 
ESA and Arianespace have ordered four new Vega launchers

ESA, Arianespace and ELV, the launcher production prime, signed a contract in September for the production of four new Vega operational launchers. This contract complements the purchase of a first launcher in an agreement signed last year within the framework of the Verta contract, covering the five launches that follow Vega’s qualification flight.

Studies under way for the LISA Pathfinder mission

The studies for the launch of the LISA Pathfinder scientific satellite of ESA, using a Vega launcher from the Verta batch, started at the end of September. The mission is scheduled for a launch window from October 2013 to September 2014.

A third launcher on the equator

Starting in 2012 the new Vega launch system will be operated by Arianespace at the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, alongside the other two launchers in this European family: the Ariane 5 heavy launcher and the Soyuz medium launcher. Vega has a payload capacity of 1,500 kg into polar orbit at an altitude of 700 km.

Designed to handle a wide range of missions and payload configurations, Vega is especially well suited to the launch of small satellites into low or sun-synchronous orbits, thus enabling Arianespace to meet customer demand. Vega should quickly establish itself as the benchmark launch vehicle in its class.

Vega is a European Space Agency (ESA) programme jointly funded by Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden. ELV is owned by Avio, with 70%, and the Italian space agency ASI, with 30%.

About Arianespace

Arianespace is the world’s leading launch service & solutions company, delivering innovative solutions to its customers since 1980. Backed by 21 shareholders and the European Space Agency, Arianespace offers an international workforce renowned for a culture of commitment and excellence. As of October 24, 2011, Arianespace had launched a total of 298 payloads with Ariane launchers, had successfully launched the first Soyuz at the Guiana Space Center and was preparing the first launch of Vega. It has a backlog of 20 Ariane 5 and 16 Soyuz launches, equal to more than three years of business.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-press-release/2011/10-28-2011-vega-contract.asp

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