CLEARANCE: Top Secret
- May 6, 2007
- Reaction score
It was supposed to provide cost savings in both manufacture and operation.Hobbes said:Interesting choice to have solid propellants for the first three stages.
The rocket is centred on an Italian design that has raised eyebrows for its complexity.
Rocket makers usually try to reduce the number of stages as far as possible to avoid the risk of failure if a stage does not separate or if a motor refuses to ignite.
But Vega uses four stages to propel a small payload into low orbit. The reason: the rocket uses solid fuel, an energy source that cannot be turned on and off as easily as liquid propellant, so having additional stages offers flexibility in swiftly boosting or slowing a flight.
Another innovation, said Carine Leveau of France's National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), is a first stage whose body is made of light-but-tough carbon fibre, a precious gain in the quest for low-cost reliability.
That's great to hear.Michel Van said:the launch was very abnormally for European prototype rocket, a full success !
Take a look at Taurus launch footage. It's a converted Peacekeeper ICBM, so it's designed to move fast.Matej said:That was the fastest start that I ever saw for a civil space rocket.
Grey Havoc said:
A new Ariane 6 concept has been proposed, and ministers must sanction the way ahead and fund it.
They are being asked to commit 3.8 billion euros (£3bn; $4.7bn), which will cover not only the A6’s development but also an upgrade to Esa’s small Italian-built Vega rocket.