Arianespace probes failure of European satellite launch

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BERLIN (AP) — France-based Arianespace and the European Space Agency are investigating the failed launch of a rocket that was meant to lift two Earth observation satellites into orbit.

ESA said the Vega carrier rocket deviated from its trajectory eight minutes after liftoff from Kourou, in French Guiana, late Monday, “entailing the loss of the mission.”

“Telemetry data analyses are in progress to determine the cause of this failure,” the agency said in a short statement, adding that it planned to provide further details at a news conference Tuesday.

“We deeply apologise towards our customers,” Arianespace chief executive Stephane Israel said on Twitter.

The Vega rocket was carrying Spain’s first optical imaging satellite, called SEOSAT-Ingenio, and the French TARANIS satellite, to observe events in Earth’s atmosphere.

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