The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Vega light launch vehicle will receive support services for the qualification campaign and combined testing from Arianespace.

Vega has been designed as a single body launcher with three solid propulsion stages and an additional liquid propulsion upper module for attitude and orbit control and satellite release.

The 137t launcher will have a multiple-payload capacity of 1,500kg and will be primarily used for scientific and Earth observation missions.

The combined tests are based on a launch campaign rehearsal using a representative launcher model.

The tests will be used to validate the ground and launcher interfaces and the procedures for launcher operation and control, followed by the qualification campaign.

Vega is an ESA programme financed by Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden.

The combined tests are scheduled for April 2010 and the launch vehicle will become operational towards the end of 2010.