Vega flight VV17 SEOSAT-Ingenio / TARANIS mission failure

Vega Mission With Two Satellites Suffers Failure After Launch Arianespace SaysJODY AMIET

Arianespace returned the Vega rockets to action in early September this year, successfully deploying 53 small satellites into orbit for 21 different customers.

Arianespace said Tuesday that wrong cabling was likely to blame for the failed launch of a rocket that was meant to lift two European satellites into orbit.

Investigation determined that an "inversion of cables" during the construction of the Italian-built final launcher stage had caused the flight deviation - and that, therefore, such was the result of human error rather than flawed design.

Vega rocket's upper stage, named Avum, swerved off course shortly after liftoff.

"Arianespace expresses its deepest apologies to the clients and the satellite manufacturers involved in this mission", the company said. "Telemetry data analyses are in progress to determine the cause of this failure".

The launch failure, the second for Arianespace in its past three attempts, represents a loss of $US400 ($548) million, reports SpaceflightNow. The mission carried the earth-science observation satellites SEOSAT-Ingenio for the European Space Agency and TARANIS for the French space agency CNES.

At about eight minutes into the flight, the engine on Vega's upper stage ignited. Less than 24 hours later, the launch provider published a statement identifying a problem with the integration of the fourth-stage AVUM nozzle activation system.

He blamed quality control and "a series of human errors", for the problem.

"We can unfortunately confirm that the mission is lost", Stéphane Israël, the CEO of Arianespace, said during a live stream of the launch last night. In July 2019, a Vega rocket lost a satellite for the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, due to a structural failure that caused the vehicle to break up midflight.



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