The mission lifted off from the Ensemble de Lancement Vega (ELV) launch pad at the Centre Spatial Guyanais (CSG) or Guiana Space Centre, at Kourou, French Guiana.at 06:04 Kyiv time.
“We have decided that we cannot launch tonight Vega with LISA Pathfinder,” said Gaele Winters, ESA’s director of launchers. “We were confronted yesterday with some analysis that indicated that the behavior of the upper stage of the launcher is not completely compliant with the specifications.”
Vega rocket was designed by the ESA jointly with the Italian Space Agency (ASI). Vega was designed to carry up to 1,500 kilograms of payloads to a 700-kilometer circular polar orbit or up to 1,200 kilograms of payloads to a 1,200-kilometer heliosynchronous orbit. The cruise engine for the fourth stage of the rocket RD-868P was designed by Pivdenne Design Bureau and it was made by Pivdenmash state enterprise (both based in Dnipropetrovsk). The test launch of the Vega carrier was success in February 2012, and since May 2013 the ESA started commercial exploitation of the new rocket.
The Ukrainian government and the ESA signed an agreement of cooperation in the peaceful development of outer space in 2008. The ESA unites 17 European countries.