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Artist's impression of Vega-C VV21 with Lares-2. The main payload on Vega’s maiden flight is the Italian space agency ASI’s LARES laser relativity satellite, built by Carlo Gavazzi Space SpA. Building on the previous Italian-American geodetic missions Lageos-1 and Lageos-2, LARES will improve their measurements of the Lense–Thirring effect by a factor of 10. On the wave of Vega’s success, Member States at the ESA Ministerial meeting in December 2014 agreed to develop the more powerful Vega-C to respond to an evolving market and to long-term institutional needs. Vega-C increases performance from Vega’s current 1.5 t to about 2.2 t in a reference 700 km polar orbit, covering identified European institutional users’ mission needs, with no increase in launch service and operating costs. The participating states in this development are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.