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ESA Will Build New Vega Rocket

The European Space Agency announced Tuesday that it will go ahead
with development of a small rocket with technology steming from the
venerable Ariane rockets. 

The decision was made when ESA member countries voted to proceed
with the full development of the Vega rocket and an associated
solid-fueled propulsion system that could one day increase payload
performance on the Ariane 5 rocket. ESA officials say that the first
launch of the new small launch vehicle is targeted for late 2005. 

Vega's launch market aims at the smaller satellite market.
Currently, the Vega is planned to have a mass-to-orbit of around
3,300 pounds to an orbit around 500 miles high, or a mass-to-orbit of
around 1,500 pounds to an orbit just under 1,000 miles high. 


73 de Jeff
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