The launch of European Space Rack failed a few minutes after takeoff, with both satellites being lost on board, reports launch operator Arianespace. The Vega light launcher, which should have brought the first Spanish satellite into orbit, suffered a failure eight minutes after its launch from Kourou (French Guiana).
After launching at 23:00 local time, the rocket slowed down before an unknown “deviation” occurred, according to Arianespace. “The mission is lost,” said Stephane Israel, the companys top man, in a live stream. Arianespace is investigating what went wrong.
The rocket was supposed to have brought two satellites into orbit at 700 kilometers altitude. On board was the first Spanish satellite for the European Space Agency ESA and a French satellite called Taranis. It was the second failed launch in two years.