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Photos: Europe's Vega Rocket Launches on 1st Flight

Payloads for Vega's First Mission

ESA/CNES/Arianespace

Payloads for Vega's first mission include LARES, ALMASat 1, and seven CubeSats from universities across Europe.

Vega VV01 on Pad with Ariane Lauch Site in Background

ESA/S. Corvaja

ESA’s new Vega rocket is now fully assembled on its launch pad. Final preparations are in full swing for the rocket’s inaugural flight. Flight VV01 will lift off from the new Vega launch site at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, carrying nine satellites into orbit: the LARES laser relativity satellite and ALMASat-1 from ASI with seven CubeSats from European Universities. In the background the Ariane launch site is visible.

Hoisting of Vega's payload composite

ESA - S. Corvaja, 2011

Hoisting of Vega's payload composite.

Fully Assembled Vega VV01 on Pad

ESA/S. Corvaja

ESA’s new Vega rocket is now fully assembled on its launch pad. Final preparations are in full swing for the rocket’s inaugural flight. Flight VV01 will lift off from the new Vega launch site at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, carrying nine satellites into orbit: the LARES laser relativity satellite and ALMASat-1 from ASI with seven CubeSats from European Universities. Image released Jan. 26., 2012.

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