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OTD in Space – February 13: 1st Vega Rocket Launch

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On February 13, 2012, the European Space Agency launched its brand-new Vega rocket on its maiden voyage. For its debut, the Vega rocket launched nine small satellites into Earth's orbit. It lifted off early in the morning from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. Despite some bad weather that almost scrubbed the launch, flight controllers said that Vega had an "apparently perfect flight." This new rocket took almost nine years to build and cost close to a billion dollars. It measures about 100 feet tall and uses a combination of solid and liquid propellant.

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