EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / S. CORVAJA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / S. CORVAJA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Vega rocket tests. This test of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Vega rocket took place in April 2011 at the Guiana Space Centre, in French Guiana. Both the rocket and mobile gantry were tested before its maiden launch, now scheduled for 2012. Other tests were carried out on ventilation and the inertial platform alignment. Vega (Vettore Europeo di Generazione Avanzata, European Advanced Generation Carrier Rocket) is a small launch system being developed jointly by the Italian Space Agency and the ESA. Vega is a three-stage rocket able to carry small satellites (up to 1500 kilograms) into a polar orbit.
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