Europe's second attempt to launch a satellite with its four-stage Europa rocket failed today when the rocket plunged into the Atlantic minutes after blast-off from Kourou, France Guiana, a project spokesman said.
Various of launch site in Kourou, France Guiana
Various of operators in control room
Various of Rocket launch
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Background: Europe's second attempt to launch a satellite with its four-stage Europa rocket failed today when the rocket plunged into the Atlantic minutes after blast-off from Kourou, France Guiana, a project spokesman said.
The spokesman for the European Space Vehicle Launcher Development Organization maid preliminary indications showed that the British-built first stage and the French-built second stage had failed to separate.
The first satellite launching in June 1976, From Woomera, Australia, failed when the West-German-made third stage lost its thrust and failed to put its payload into orbit. Earlier teats in July 1969, and November 1968 without satellites also experienced power failures.
The $641 million project is financed by Britain, Belgium, France, West-Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Australia. Today's launching was a test for a planned European satellite communications network to be set in place in 1973 by similar Europe II rockets.
"All systems failed two minutes 40 seconds into the flight then the two stages were due to separate", the spokesman said. The rocket fall into the ocean 302 miles from Kourou after reaching a height of 40 miles above South America.
The failure meant that the fourth stage and the satellite built by France to measure environmental conditions and tracking procedures were not rested.
The next launching for the Europe II was planned for April 1972.