The launch of the Vega rocket was canceled at the last moment – ​​TVA Nouvelles

The 23rd mission of the light rocket Vega, which was supposed to carry twelve satellites on board on Friday evening, was canceled a few seconds before its launch from the Guiana Space Center.

When the final schedule was announced at 10:36 p.m. (1:36 a.m. GMT Saturday), the launch was canceled because “an element of the launch assembly was not ready,” said Arianespace, the company responsible for marketing European space flights. Since there is only one shooting window, the mission will be postponed to a date that has not yet been communicated.

This third and final European launch in 2023 was intended to place two Earth observation satellites and ten additional small satellites with a total payload of 1.2 tons into low orbit.

The two main passengers of this mission, Theos-2, a high-resolution optical observation satellite, and Formosat-7R/Triton, a scientific satellite equipped with a system for collecting signals reflected from the sea surface to prevent typhoons, are scheduled to be launched in respectively Names of the Thai Geoinformatics and Space Technology Development Agency and the Taiwan Space Agency (Tasa).

Ten other small satellites, including the Ness technology demonstration nanosat developed by the French space agency, have also been part of this 23rd Vega mission since its first launch in 2012 – including two failures.

This aborted launch requires the Europeans to fire two Vega rockets, an earlier version of Italy’s Vega-C rocket that has been grounded since the failure of its first commercial flight in December.

In the first six months of the year, Arianespace launched a single Ariane 5 rocket on behalf of ESA (the last one was in early July), while the American company SpaceX carried out 43 launches of its Falcon 9 – almost two per week. and the Chinese CASC 18.