Two and a half months after Vega’s successful return to flight, the Vega launch vehicle lifted off as scheduled on 17 November at 02:52 CET / 22:52 local time on November 16 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Although the departure was nominal, the payload of two satellites was lost when the rocket’s fourth stage malfunctioned. The failure of the Vega launch was caused when the rocket’s upper stage tumbled out of control due to incorrectly installed cables in a control system. Arianespace will convene an investigation commission, chaired by the European Space Agency’s inspector general, to confirm the cause of the failure and recommend corrective actions. The failure caused the loss of two spacecraft, the SEOSAT-Ingenio Earth observation satellite for Spain and the TARANIS satellite for France to study electromagnetic phenomena in the upper atmosphere.
On Friday 15th of December, PoliSpace held a great event. We had the chance to connect with Dr Giuseppe Cataldo, who spoke about the Mars Sample Return Campaign. After the conference we could reach him and ask some more questions to know more about him and his life. You will know everything about the interview in our next article, but know let’s step back and see what MSR Campaign is.