Bad cabling blamed for failed launch of European satellites

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.

The European Space Agency said the Vega carrier rocket deviated from its trajectory eight minutes after liftoff from Kourou, in French Guiana, late Monday.

France-based Arianespace said an initial investigation showed the first stages of the Vega launch vehicle had functioned as planned. When the final stage of the rocket—known as AVUM—ignited, the spacecraft tumbled off course, leading to a "loss of mission," it said.

"A problem related to the integration of the fourth-stage AVUM nozzle activation system is the most likely cause of the loss of control of the launcher," Arianespace said.

The company's , Roland Lagier, said data indicated the issue was down to wrongly installed cables in a system controlling the thrusters.

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

"Arianespace expresses its deepest apologies to the clients and the satellite manufacturers involved in this mission," the company said.

The Vega rocket was carrying Spain's first Earth observation satellite, called SEOSAT-Ingenio, and TARANIS, a French satellite designed to observe events in the .

Vega is Arianespace's smallest launch vehicle and produced mainly by Italian aerospace company Avio.

A previous Vega launch failure, in July 2019, was attributed to a .


Explore further

European space rocket launch fails minutes after takeoff

© 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation: Bad cabling blamed for failed launch of European satellites (2020, November 17) retrieved 27 November 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-11-bad-cabling-blamed-european-satellites.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
12 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments