TALLINN, May 7 (RIA Novosti) – The European light-class carrier rocket Vega, which lifted off from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana on Tuesday, successfully delivered three satellites into orbit, including Estonia’s first spacecraft ESTCube-1, Estonian television reported.
Estonia has become the 41st country in the world to launch a satellite into the near-Earth orbit. It separated from the Vega carrier rocket two hours after the launch along with the Vietnamese spacecraft VNREDSat-1, while the European Earth observation satellite Proba-V weighing 138 kilograms separated 55 minutes after the booster lifted off from the spaceport.
The launch of the Vega booster was originally planned for early Saturday but was postponed less than an hour before its scheduled take-off due to strong high-altitude winds.
The Vega lightweight booster made its successful debut flight in February 2012. Its payload consisted of two Italian satellites – ASI’s LARES laser relativity satellite and the University of Bologna’s ALMASat-1 – as well as seven picosatellites provided by European universities.
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New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.