VV04 assembled on launch pad

The fourth Vega, VV04, has completed its build-up at the Spaceport in French Guiana, preparing this lightweight member of Arianespace’s launcher family for final checkout ahead of its 11 February liftoff with ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) spaceplane. The assembly process was concluded during the weekend of 1 February, with integration of the unmanned IXV, enclosed in its protective payload fairing, atop the launcher. Installation took place inside the mobile gantry at the Spaceport’s ZLV launch site for Vega.

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