The Vega rocket ready to return to orbit with 52 mini-satellites

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On the night of June 18, Vega will bring 52 mini-satellites to space. The launch of the European carrier in the Kourou cosmodrome in French Guiana will inaugurate a new system of support, transport and multiple separation. The system, called Sms-Small Spacecraft Mission Service, is the first mission entirely dedicated to “redeshare” small satellites, explains the European Space Agency. Vega will bring the 50 satellites into orbit in a single launch in what is the first mission entirely dedicated to small “rideshare” satellites, or transported by sharing the same platform in “car-sharing” style.SMS is “the European response to the growing demand for cheap and quickly available launches for small satellites,” says ESA. Until now, he adds, “these customers have relied on the ability to get a so-called ‘piggyback’ pass along with a main satellite, but spaces are limited and matching the requirements of the main mission is often difficult.”
“This flight heralds a new era for launching small satellites with missions rideshare entirely dedicated to them and shows our commitment to extend access to space for Europe and its space capabilities to serve the European institutions, to strengthen our space industry and grow our economy “he explains Renato Lafranconi, Program Manager at ESA for the operational phase of the Vega.It is the sixteenth mission for the launcher built 70% by the Aviation of Colleferro (Rome) and born from the participation of Asi-Esa and an important milestone in the history of the transport of satellites in orbit. The launch scheduled for Thursday by the European base will bring to space a record number of satellites born from the collaboration of 13 countries, capable of fulfilling different functions, from Earth observation to telecommunications.



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https://www.repubblica.it/scienze/2020/06/15/news/il_razzo_vega_pronto_a_tornare_nello_spazio-259257599/

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