September 26, 2022

Vega launch complex

Formerly the launch complex for Ariane 1, 2 and 3, this infrastructure is now used for the light Vega launcher.

The Vega launch complex (ELV) is a large, open 8-hectare zone, with a single infrastructure for the assembly and lift-off of the light launcher.


A single infrastructure

Unlike Ariane 5, Ariane 6 and Soyuz, the Vega launch complex consists of a single infrastructure, which includes ancillary service buildings, which support a mobile gantry. The gantry is used to assemble Vega’s and Vega-C's five components (the four stages and the fairing) and to fill the fourth stage with liquid propellants before lift-off.

Optimised infrastructure

The Vega launch complex was built in 1970 to launch the Europa 2 rocket, and was later repurposed as the first launch complex at the GSC for Ariane 1, 2 and 3. At the end of the 2000s it was adapted for Vega, and now for Vega-C. This reuse allows great flexibility in the sequence of operations while keeping costs lower than building a new structure.

Launch centre No. 3, initially dedicated to Ariane 5 to carry out launch and monitoring operations, has also been put to use for Vega. A room has been specially set up to accommodate the Vega team, which thus benefits from the operational experience of the Ariane 5 team working in the same building.

On the other hand, for the more powerful Vega-C, a new launch center has been set up at the Technical Centre.

Ariane 1 launch complex, 1979.

Virtual tour of the Vega Launch zone: