Arianespace is reporting that approximately two minutes after the Vega launcher’s liftoff from the Spaceport in French Guiana, a launcher anomaly occurred. Shortly after ignition of the Zefiro 23's second stage an anomaly lead to the premature end of the mission.
"Approximately two minutes after the Vega launcher’s liftoff from the spaceport in French Guiana, a launcher anomaly occurred shortly after ignition of the Zefiro 23 second stage – leading to the premature end of the mission," a press release from Arianespace said.
Data analyses are in progress to clarify the reasons for this failure.
An independent inquiry commission will be established during the coming hours.
A nighttime Vega lifted off from the Spaceport in French Guiana with the expectation that the flight would last 57 minutes from liftoff to separation of the FalconEye1 high-performance, optical, Earth Observation satellite, which was to be placed into a Sun-Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
FalconEye1 was the first of two spacecraft that will compose the United Arab Emirates’ FalconEye satellite system, which was to serve two primary purposes: supporting the needs of this country’s armed forces and supplying the commercial market with imagery.
The satellite was produced by Airbus Defence and Space as prime contractor and Thales Alenia Space as co-prime.