A European space rocket failed a few minutes after launch with the loss of both satellites, its operator announced on Tuesday.
The Vega Light Launcher, which would have put Spain’s first satellite into orbit, malfunctioned about eight minutes after launch from a space center in Kourou, French Guiana.
After the launcher started at around 11:00 PM local time (2:00 PM GMT), it slowed before encountering an unidentified “anomaly,” said Arianespace, the company that oversaw the launch.
“The mission is lost,” said CEO Stephane Israel on a livestream to track the missile.
It’s unclear what caused the error, but Arianespace said they would work to determine what went wrong.
Vega was to place two satellites – both lost during the mission – around 700 kilometers from Earth.
The mission would have launched Spain’s first Earth observation satellite for the European Space Agency (ESA).
It would also have put into orbit Taranis, a French satellite that would have observed extremely bright electrical phenomena in the planet’s upper atmosphere.
The launch failure is the second in as many years.
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