The Ukrainian National Industrial Portal announced on Monday, January 8 that the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, the Yuzhmash plant and the Italian company Avio SPA signed an agreement to continue the Vega project.
The contract for the delivery of sustainer engines for 4th-stage Vega RD-868P carrier rockets has been extended till 2020. Under the contract, Yuzhnoye Design Bureau and Yuzhmash enterprises will manufacture and supply twenty more RD-868P engines
The original contract was signed in February 2004 and allowed Yuzhnoye to develop a VG-143 sustainer engine that is part of the liquid propulsion system of the carrier rocket’s booster block. It is designed to create thrust, control the thrust vector, maneuver the upper stage, and withdraw the upper stage from orbit.
The Vega carrier rocket was developed by European Space Agency together with the Italian Space Agency. It is designed for launching 1,200 kg satellites into solar-synchronous orbit at 1,200 km or satellites weighing 1,500 kg to a polar orbit with a height of 700 km.