New Launch Date of Europe Vega Rocket

According to the European Space Agency (ESA) the first launch of a long-awaited light rocket, Vega, which had been penciled for February 9, would take place on February 13. The Europe’s Vega rocket is designed to launch small payloads of about 1.5 tonnes into low-Earth orbit. Vega is being deployed at a new pad at ESA’s space base at Kourou, French Guiana, to complement ESA’s heavyweight Ariane 5 and the Russian-made medium launcher Soyuz. An ESA spokesman told AFP that the new date was within the launch window and would not interfere with the next big mission from Kourou, the deployment of a supply freighter to the International Space Station (ISS) in March. Under development since 1998, the 30-metre (100-feet) rocket is designed to hoist payloads of up to 1.5 tonnes to an altitude of 700 kilometers (437 miles).