The integration of Vega’s first, second and third stages is now complete at ESA’s Spaceport at Kourou in the Caribbean. ESA say the new rocket is moving full speed ahead towards its maiden flight at the end of January.
Vega will carry seven amateur radio satellites, ALMASat-1 and six Cubesats. The primary payload is LARES (Laser Relativity Satellite), a passive satellite with laser mirrors for the study of the Earth gravitational field and general relativity measurements (Lense-Thirring effect).
By the end of December, the six CubeSats, ALMASat-1 and LARES will be ready and enclosed in the fairing, well in time for the launch.