It has been revealed at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) being held in Naples, Italy in early October that the first flight of the European Space Agency’s Vega four stage launch vehicle which is operated by Arianespace had a telemetry black out during the later stages of the flight held on 13 February 2012.. Specifically, as revealed by Stefano Bianchi, Vega Project Manager, particles from the firing Zefiro 9 third stage engine effectively blocked signals from the receiver near the Kourou aunch site in French Guiana during the fairing seperation stage. In the end, the fault’s effect on the mission was minimal but this will be a concern for future missions.
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