Successful to launch the new small rocket “Vega C” in Europe -Sea of expectations and anxiety (Mynavi News)
Demand for launching small satellites to increase by improving abilities and deferred costs
On July 14, 2022, the European Space Organization (ESA) succeeded in launching the new small rocket “Vega C”. [Photo] Vega C Vega C, which flew off the launch platform, was an improved type of “Vega” that was operated in the past, and the launch cost was stationary and improved its launch ability. The company aims to respond to high -cost performance demand for small and medium -sized satellites, which has been increasing in recent years. While ESA and others are further developed, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will drop shadows in the future. European countries, such as Vega, Germany, and Italy, one of the European main rockets, jointly conducting space development and space science research through European Space Organization (ESA). The rockets have been developed with private companies under the lead and management of ESA, and after development, they are transferred to the private sector. Europe currently operates three rockets, a large rocket “Arian 5”, a medium -sized rocket “Soyuz”, and a small rocket “Vega”. By aligning the rockets as large, medium, and small, we can flexibly respond to the launch of a wide variety of satellites (*1). Among them, Vega is a rocket developed and manufactured by the Italian aerospace manufacturer Avio, developing and manufacturing by European countries and several Ukrainian aerospace manufacturers. The operation will be in charge of the Arianespace, a base based in France. The name Vega is from the initials of the Italian Vettore Europeo Di Generazione Avanzata (literally a “European next -generation rocket”), and is also the name of the “Kotaza” Alpha Star (Orihimei). Vega debuted in 2012, and 21 have been launched, failing one by one in 2019 and 2020, and 19 have succeeded. The total length of the rocket is about 30m, the diameter is about 3m, the first to third rows are solid, and only the fourth stage is a liquid rocket. Once a solid rocket is ignited, the combustion cannot be stopped until the propulsion drug is gone, and the slot ring cannot be performed (adjusting the thrust), and the accuracy of the orbit is reduced due to individual differences in the performance. Therefore, by using a liquid rocket in the final stage, precise orbital is possible. The launch capacity is about 1500 kg in the sun -synchronous orbit with an altitude of 700 km, and the launch of small satellites in one unit, the launch with multiple satellites simultaneously installed, and reconnaissance satellites such as ESA’s earth observation satellites and France. It supports the launch of Europe in Europe. In addition, the development of small satellites in a global world and the use of services that use it are also active in business, such as launching private satellites inside and outside Europe. On the other hand, Vega had a one -time launch cost of about $ 37 million, with some drawbacks of a slightly high cost. This is a number comparable to Soyuz, which has a higher launch ability, and low cost was inevitable. In addition, demand for small satellites 슬롯머신 has been increasing earlier, and new demand, such as concretation, which operates small satellites by formation, has increased. Therefore, ESA has decided to develop a Vega improved type, including improving launch capabilities, reducing costs, and improving cost performance. That is “Vega C”. The C of Vega C Vega C is taken from the initials of Consolidation, which means “enhancement”. As you can see, Vega C has a total length of 34.8m, 4.5m, and a diameter of 3.3m compared to Vega, and has increased by 0.3m, and is one size larger. The biggest feature is that the first -stage solid rocket motor has become larger. Until now, a motor called “P80” dedicated to Vega was used, but Vega C replaced it with “P120C”. The thrust increased significantly from 3050 kn to 4500KN. This P120C is also used as a solid rocket booster of the large rocket under development. By sharing the same parts, synergies such as low cost and reliability are improved. In addition, the second -stage solid rocket motor has been replaced from the conventional “Zefiro 23” to the new “Zefiro 40”. This is also larger and the performance is improving. The third stage is also replaced with the conventional “Zefiro 9”, which has been improved, and the fourth -stage liquid stage is replaced with “AVUM+”, which has been improved to the conventional “AVUM”. There are more or less all the aircraft, such as doing it. These improvements have greatly improved launch capabilities, about 2300 kg in the sun -synchronous orbit at an altitude of 700 km. For this reason, Vega was used to be “Small Launcher” and “Light Lifter”, so -called small rockets, but Vega C is also called “Medium Lifter” (*2). In addition to improving the launch ability, the fairing is about twice as large as Vega. It can also support the launch of a larger satellite than Vega. In addition, more than one satellite launch ability has improved. Vega could be launched in two different trajectory in one launch, but Vega C increased to three, making small and ultra -small satellites more efficiently launched. Nevertheless, the launch costs have been deferred from Vega due to the low cost, such as the synergy effect with Arian 6, and the cost performance has been improved. The development of Vega C began in December 2014 with ESA approval. Initially, the first launch was to be launched in 2018, but in addition to technical problems, the plan was greatly delayed due to the pandemic of the new Coronavirus infection (COVID-19). It was the first team four years later. Footnote *1 As of as of now, Soyuz has been suspended due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine *2 However, there are no clear standards for small rockets and medium -sized rockets, so it is often called small rockets.
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