LARES 2 & SSMS n°4

Launch Time
Wed Jul 13, 2022 13:13 UTC

First flight of Vega C. This flight was managed by ESA. Flight VV21.


Vega C
Status: Active
Liftoff Thrust: 4,500 kN
Payload to LEO: 2,300 kg
Stages: 4
Strap-ons: 0
Rocket Height: 35.0 m
Fairing Diameter: 3.3 m
Fairing Height: 9.0 m

Mission Details


LARES 2 (Laser Relativity Satellite 2) is a passive satellite with laser mirrors for the study of the Earth's gravitational field and general relativity measurements (Lense-Thirring effect) and for geodetic purposes to improve the measurements on the LAGEOS 1 and 2 and LARES satellites.

LARES 2 is an improved version of LARES replacing the earlier LAGEOS 3 project, which was never funded. The main objectives of the LARES 2 experiment are accurate measurements of General Relativity, gravitational and fundamental physics, and accurate determinations in space geodesy and geodynamics. In particular, LARES 2 is aimed to achieve a very accurate test of frame-dragging, an intriguing phenomenon predicted by General Relativity.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 387.0 kg
Medium Earth Orbit

SSMS n°4 Cubesats

- AstroBio (3U) will test a solution for detecting biomolecules, a technology that could help monitor astronauts’ health and search for signs of life during planetary exploration missions.
- Greencube (3U) carries an experiment to grow plants in microgravity, along with sensors and an internal camera to monitor the health of these “microgreens”.
- Trisat-R (3U) aims to improve space radiation modelling and demonstrate techniques for protecting high-performance electronic components in the harsh radiation environment of the inner Van Allen belt.
- MTCube-2 (1U) will expose different types of flash memory to the space radiation environment while monitoring errors and broadcasting messages to the Ham radio community.
- Celesta (1U) will study electronic system short-circuits caused by energetic particles and compare the radiation environment in orbit with that produced at CERN’s CHARM radiation chamber.
- ALPHA (1U) will explore phenomena related to Earth’s magnetosphere, such as the Northern and Southern Lights, and demonstrate technologies designed to mitigate the
effects of radiation.

Payloads: 6
Total Mass: 20.0 kg
Medium Earth Orbit


ELV, Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana, France



83rd orbital launch attempt

European Space Agency

14th mission
1st mission of 2022
10th successful mission
3rd consecutive successful mission


21st mission
1st mission of 2022
19th successful mission
4th consecutive successful mission