January 27, 2023

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European Vega-C rocket disintegrates in space after first commercial launch: ‘Mission lost’

The first commercial flight of the European Vega-C rocket failed

European light launcher Vega-CIt was about to operate its first commercial flight when it disappeared shortly after takeoff on Tuesday GroveOn top of that French Guianawith two satellites Airbus On the board, the company responsible for the publication said.

Ten minutes after liftoff, at 22:47 local time (01:47 GMT), the missile’s trajectory deviated from the planned path, and data then stopped reaching the Kourou Space Center’s control room.

“The mission is lost,” he explained in a brief online appearance before the media Stephen Israel, President of ArianespaceFederation of European Shuttle Operators Vega Y Arian.

In an equally brief statement, Arianespace noted that “approximately 2 minutes and 27 seconds later, an anomaly occurred in Zefiro 40 (the spacecraft’s second stage) and terminated the Vega C mission.”

Moment of Vega C (Twitter ESA) takeoff

The Federation is an equal subsidiary of the European Union Airbus and French aero engine manufacturer SaffronAnd “data analysis is underway to determine the reasons for this failure.”

Arianespace initially determined that No ruins After launch, the spacecraft was manufactured in Italy.

Rocket Vega-C Two surveillance satellites built by Airbus had to be put into orbit. Pleiades Neo 5 Y 6The last two of the Pléiades Neo series make it possible to capture images of any point on Earth several times a day with a resolution of 30 centimeters.

As Tuesday’s event was scheduled First commercial rocket flight After its initial release on 13 July.

Originally scheduled for November 24, the flight was delayed by a month due to a faulty launch element.

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According to the Italian manufacturer, the Vega-C –C “combination” married— This is an upgraded version of the Vega Light Launcher, which has been sent into space 20 times since 2012, but suffered two major setbacks in 2019 and 2020. Its modernization notably increased the carrying capacity by up to 50%. Loads up to one ton.

A heavy backlash for this new debacle European Space Agency (ESA), responsible for European launcher programs, against the backdrop of intense global competition in the field, with the United States SpaceX to the head.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

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