Approximately two minutes after the Vega launcher’s liftoff from the Spaceport in French Guiana, a launcher anomaly occurred shortly after ignition of the Zefiro 23 second stage – leading to the premature end of the mission.
Data analyses are in progress to clarify the reasons for this failure.
An independent inquiry commission will be set up in the coming hours.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: According to Arianespace, Vega’s flight was due to last 57 minutes from liftoff to separation of the FalconEye1 high-performance optical Earth observation satellite, which was to be placed into a Sun-synchronous orbit.
FalconEye1 is the first of two spacecraft that will compose the United Arab Emirates’ FalconEye satellite system, which is to serve two primary purposes: supporting the needs of this country’s armed forces and supplying the commercial market with imagery.
The satellite was produced by Airbus Defence and Space as prime contractor and Thales Alenia Space as co-prime.)