Successful lift-off for Vega rocket

Kourou - Europe's new Vega rocket lifted off successfully from Kourou spaceport in French Guiana on its first test flight on Monday.

The 30m-tall Vega, which was designed in Italy and took nearly a decade to complete, lifted off at 10:00 GMT on its maiden voyage, which was to last 81 minutes.

The diminutive Vega, which can carry payloads of up to 2 500kg, completes the European family of rockets, which includes the heavy-duty Ariane 5 and the mid-size Russian-built Soyuz.

The rocket will release nine satellites into orbit on its maiden flight: Two Italian satellites and seven pico satellites provided by European universities.

The Vega was developed by seven European countries at a cost of nearly €790m ($1bn).

The last time the ESA launched a new rocket was on June 4 1996, when it carried out the first test flight of the Ariane 5.

That rocket exploded 40 seconds after lift-off from Kourou. An investigation later identified a software error.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 790 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 9164 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 1076 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.93
-0.9%
Rand - Pound
20.07
+0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.63
-0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.53
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.7%
Gold
1,710.82
-0.3%
Silver
20.46
-0.9%
Palladium
2,283.50
+1.1%
Platinum
922.50
+0.0%
Brent-ruolie
93.37
+1.7%
Top 40
59,380
+0.3%
All Share
65,806
+0.3%
Resource 10
63,192
-0.8%
Industrial 25
79,968
+0.9%
Financial 15
14,004
+0.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE