Late Monday night, a European rocket carrying two satellites failed during flight, leading to the loss of the payloads on board. It was the second major failure of this particular type of rocket within the last two years. From a report: The rocket that failed is called Vega, one of the primary rockets developed by European launch provider Arianespace. The vehicle took off last night from Europe’s primary spaceport in French Guiana. On board the rocket was a Spanish Earth-imaging satellite called SEOSat-Ingenio, which would have been operated by the European Space Agency, and another imaging satellite from France called TARANIS. At about eight minutes into the flight, the engine on Vega’s upper stage ignited. Right after that occurred, the rocket started to veer off course, and its altitude began dropping. After noticing the deviation, Arianespace tried to establish a signal with the rocket but ultimately couldn’t connect, indicating that Vega had fallen out of orbit, destroying the two payloads on board. After looking over the data, the company believes that there was an issue with the system that activates the upper stage engine.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.