Vega C debut set for first week of July

Avio-built Vega C debut has been set for the first week of July.
The Vega-C Zefiro 40 second stage being integrated with the P120C booster in Kourou on 4 May | Credit: ESA – M. Pedoussaut

Arianespace’s head of sales for the Asia-Pacific region Vivian Quenet said last week that the debut of the Avio Vega C would occur in the first week of July.

The announcement came during Asia Satellite Business Week in Singapore. During the chat, Quenet also revealed that the maiden flight of Ariane 6 would occur towards the end of the year. But with combined testing at Kourou yet to be conducted, this prediction is still very much speculative.

Vega C status

Although Arianespace will handle the launch operations of the Avio-built Vega C, ESA will manage the maiden flight. 

The four stages of the first Vega C vehicle have already been stacked at the launch site in French Guiana, with the AVUM+ upper stage being added on 21 May. The vehicle will be the first to utilize the P120C solid-fuel booster that will also be featured aboard both variants of the Ariane 6 launch vehicle.

Last week, the mission’s LARES-2 primary payload and six secondary payloads began their journey to the launch site from across Europe. The vehicle’s fairing is already in Kourou, having been shipped there in late January.

Following the maiden flight of Vega C, Arianespace is hoping to hit the ground running with as many as five additional missions planned for 2022.

Up next: Before the debut of Vega C, however, Arianespace is working towards their first launch of the year aboard an Ariane 5. Liftoff is currently scheduled for June 22, with a pair of GEO satellites as its payload.