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A new Arianespace rocket starts its journey to French Guiana.
This first launch, the Vega qualification flight, is planned for January 2012 and will pave the way for five missions that aim to demonstrate the system’s flexibility. . . . Vega is compatible with payload masses ranging from 300 kg to 2500 kg, depending on the type and altitude of the orbit required by the customers. The benchmark is for 1500 kg into a 700 km-altitude polar orbit.
This rocket is comparable to SpaceX’s now discontinued Falcon 1, though it can put more payload into orbit.