Vega rocket with Ukrainian engine successfully launched into space
European Vega rocket powered by a Ukrainian-made engine has successfully brought into orbit Turkey's most advanced intelligence satellite Gokturk-1, Ukraine Today reports.
The launch that took place at the European Space Center near Kourou in French Guiana on Monday, was watched via live video link by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to Ukraine Today.
That was already the eighth Vega mission since its debut liftoff in 2012, and the second one in 2016.
The lightweight Vega launcher was designed by the European Space Agency (ESA) jointly with the Italian Space Agency for flights with small- to medium-sized satellite payloads. Unlike most small launchers, Vega is able to place multiple payloads into orbit, according to ESA.
The launcher's forth stage RD-843 engine was designed by Ukraine's Yuzhnoe [Pivdenne in Ukrainian] State Design Office named after Yangel and produced by the Production Association "The Pivdennyi machine-building plant named after Makarov."
The Gokturk-1 satellite will provide Turkish military and security forces with more than 60,000 high-resolution Earth-observation images per year.