There is no news that Europe has fallen behind in the modern space races, especially in the field of rockets, especially for smaller machines. This problem is so great that an economic power like the European Union and the European Space Agency (ESA) sometimes has to use Russian rockets, and we can’t get astronauts into space at all.
A great example of where the missile industry was located on the ancient continent is the Vega launch vehicle, which stands in the back Avio And although it is a really respectable machine, it flies relatively rarely and the price tag is very high. Where did the error occur?
American companies overtaken
The Vega rocket certainly ranks among the youngest and first took to the sky on February 13, 2012, launching several small satellites into orbit. Its maximum capacity is 2500kg, which is a large number More, like Electron Rocket Lab. Of course, I am much cheaper, but in general, the quantities per kilogram of cargo are the same and Electron is more suitable for dedicated flights.
ESA / Arianespace
Vega is much worse than a missile Falcon 9, which can carry more than 15,000 kg into orbit And its price in the case of the first stage already in use and the possibility of landing starts from only 50 million dollars. The cost of the flight of the Vega missile reaches 37 million, which is partly understandable due to the fact that it cannot be reused.
In general, larger rockets are more economically beneficial if they are not Expensive SLS, which NASA wants to fly to the moon. Even compared to the new Falconom 9, which has not yet been used, Vega looks unfavorable, but it still has its own market and is suitable for joint flights or smaller satellites that need to go to a certain orbit and pay extra for capacity that you do not have use, no They can.
You broke the worst record
The Vega has a height of 30 meters and a hull diameter at its widest point, at the bottom, 3 meters and consists of four stages, all made by Avio itself. With the exception of the last stage, they are all powered by solid-fuel rocket engines, which are generally considered the most reliable option.
ESA / Arianespace
Nevertheless, he suffered two serious failures in his account from twenty flights, for which the engines themselves are not responsible, but which nevertheless destroyed expensive satellites and broke an unusual record. When Vega failed and lost the Falcon Eye 1 satellite in 2019, the satellite received the largest premium claim of €411 million, Writes Parabolic Arc.
The following year, Vega failed again, this time due to the opposite installation of the control cable, destroying the SEOSat-Ingenio and TARANIS satellites, estimated at 400 million euros. Since then, it has made three successful flights, bringing satellites to the European Space Agency and Airbus.
Good piece of technology
You will find in this article after opening
- How does the Vega perform compared to the competition and why is it still a good choice for some?
- What did it offer and why, despite the highly reliable engines, caused a complete disaster?
- How did it take so long to develop it, and who is behind it being delayed so many years?
- How will Europe improve its efficiency and cover almost the entire target market, and what serious changes are waiting for?
- Which promising missile could completely replace the Vega in the future and how much time is left until its launch?
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