Arianespace’s Vega rocket failed during the launch of the Falcon Eye-1 spacecraft for the United Arab Emirates. The launch has been delayed by several days due to unacceptable upper-level winds. Tuesday’s attempt, however, launched without any weather concerns at the top of the window that opened at 01:53 (UTC) on Wednesday (10:53:03 local time on Tuesday) from the European Spaceport in French Guiana. However, the mission was lost at the point of second stage flight.
The immediate cause of the failure isn’t known. However, it appeared to relate to the Zefiro 23 second stage failing to ignite.
Interestingly, Arianespace statements so far note the failure occurred after the second stage ignited.
Live video of the launch showed stage separation, without any obvious view of the second stage coming to life. Soon after, the trajectory of the launch deviated from nominal.
After a short period, initially claiming it was a slight loss of telemetry data, Arianespace announced the mission was lost.
This was Arianespace’s sixth launch of the year, and the 15th Vega mission since this launcher began its career at the Guiana Space Center in 2012 Flight VV15 marks the 12th Earth observation mission for Vega, although the mission ...