UAE Spy Satellite Crashed after Rocket Failure 2 Minutes Post Liftoff
The Arianespace Flight VV15 experienced a mission failure after liftoff and came crashing down into the Atlantic Ocean.
The mission was for one of the United Arab Emirate's (UAE) spy satellites.
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The satellite crash happened due to a failed rocket launch from French Guiana on Wednesday. Reasons for the crash are still to be disclosed, and the crash occurred just two minutes after liftoff.
UAE military spy satellite
The 98-foot-tall European Vega rocket was carrying a satellite that Airbus built. It was called the FalconEye1 and it was built for the UAE military.
As per what Arianespace, the company operating the rocket launch, said in their short report "a launcher anomaly occurred."
#Vega has lifted off from the Spaceport in French Guiana! The United Arab Emirates’ #FalconEye1 satellite will be released into Sun-synchronous orbit during a flight lasting 57 minutes from liftoff to separation. #VV15 pic.twitter.com/DDBB9j4TMG— Arianespace (@Arianespace) July 11, 2019
The flight's course was meant to last 57 minutes from liftoff to separation.
Arianespace executive VP of missions, ops, and purchasing, Luce Fabreguettes, gave an apology at a news conference after the failed launch.
You can watch the conference here:
Fabreguettes said, "As you have seen, about two minutes after liftoff, around the Z23 ignition, a major anomaly occurred resulting in the loss of the mission."
"On behalf of Arianespace, I wish to express my deepest apologies to our customers for the loss of their payload and telling them how sorry I am," finished Fabreguettes.
No images are available that show the direct failure of the launch, however, videos show the build-up to the launch, as seen here:
Fourteen successful launches have occurred from the Vega launcher since 2012, and the Guiana Space Center, from where the launch took place, has been operating rocket launches from South America for more than 50 years.