European Vega rocket fails for the second time during launch in the last two years – Loren Grush

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.

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…

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