Failed launch of the Vega C space rocket
Deviation from trajectory after take-off and missile sinked in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean
First commercial mission and first failure for Vega C, built by the Italian company Avio of Colleferro, near Rome. Due to an anomaly that occurred two minutes and 27 seconds after take-off from the launch pad of the Kourou spaceport, in French Guyana, the carrier deviated from its normal trajectory, sinking in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It happened last night just before 3:00 am Italian time. Lost two satellites.
"We assume full responsibility for this failure as an industrial prime contractor. Avio will undertake to support the independent inquiry commission with all the information that will be requested and to follow the resulting recommendations to radically improve the flight capability of this new launcher", said the CEO of the Colleferro-based company, Giulio Ranzo.
Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace, clarified the dynamics of the accident: "After take-off and a nominal ignition of the P-120C, the first stage of the Vega, a lower pressure (than the expected levels) of the Zephyr was observed 40, which is Vega's second stage. We then observed a trajectory deviation and a very important anomaly and unfortunately the mission was lost. I want to offer my deepest apologies to our customers, Pleiades Neo and Airbus Defense and Space, for the failure of tonight. Now all of us, with our partners, will have to work to understand why the Zefiro 40 did not work in the correct way".
The Vega C rocket had successfully debuted in July 2022. The objective of tonight's mission was to bring into orbit two satellites of the French constellation Pleiades Neo, functional for Earth observation. Meanwhile, as foreseeable, Avio's share on the Stock Exchange plummeted, losing 10%. "I am convinced that this incident will not obscure the excellent work done by Italian and European companies", underlined the Minister of Enterprise and "Made in Italy" (Mimit) with responsibility for Space, Adolfo Urso.
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency