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Failure of the first commercial flight of the Vega-C rocket


The small European rocket, which was to place two Airbus observation satellites in orbit, was lost shortly after takeoff.

The European light launcher Vega-C, which was to make its first commercial flight, was lost shortly after takeoff from Kourou on Tuesday December 20, with two Airbus satellites on board, noted an AFP journalist.

"The mission is lost

," said Arianespace President Stéphane Israel from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana.

Ten minutes after takeoff, at 10:47 p.m. local time, 2:47 a.m. Paris time, the trajectory of the launcher deviated from that programmed, then the telemetry stopped arriving at the control room of the Guiana Space Center.

"About 2 minutes and 27 seconds after takeoff, an anomaly occurred on the Zefiro 40", the second stage of the launcher, "thereby ending the Vega-C mission

," Arianespace said in a brief press release.

“Data analyzes are underway to determine the reasons for this failure

,” added Arianespace.

A press point is scheduled for Wednesday in Kourou, at 12:00 p.m. local time (15:00 GMT).

Arianespace found that there was no debris fallout after takeoff.

Read alsoFrance prepares reusable rockets

Vega-C was to place two Earth observation satellites built by Airbus, Pléiades Neo 5 and 6, into orbit, the last two of the Pléiades Neo constellation to be able to image any point on the globe several times a day with a resolution of 30 cm.

It was the rocket's first commercial flight after its successful July 13 maiden launch.

Initially scheduled for November 24, this flight had been postponed for a month due to a defective launcher element.

“We had to change equipment related to the headdress

,” Stéphane Israel told AFP.

This launch is the fifth and last of the year 2022 for Europe's spaceport in Kourou.

Vega-C - C for


according to its industrial prime contractor, the Italian Avio - is an improved version of the Vega light launcher, fired 20 times (with two failures) since 2012.

Source: lefigaro

All tech articles on 2022-12-21

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