back to article Last Vega rocket launch delayed over fuel tank vanishing act

The final Vega rocket launch is being delayed to September 2024 as engineers wrestle with the unusual problem of disappearing fuel tanks. Vega is the only option as far as Arianespace and ESA's domestic launch capabilities are concerned. Its successor, the Vega-C, is unlikely to return to flight until the end of 2024 following …

  1. Great Bu

    Note ?

    Nobody thought to put a "Do Not Throw Out" post-it note on the tanks that got trashed ?

    1. Zack Mollusc

      Re: Note ?

      It doesn't matter how many notes you put on stuff, some people will throw away anything that is not their direct responsibility. Annoyingly, they never get in trouble for it or have to sort out the problems they cause.

  2. cookieMonster Silver badge

    Looking forward

    To reading all about it in a future Who Me.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    To lose one tank may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

  4. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    Tell me you're a third-rate Sunday-League space agency without telling me.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "they were accidentally scrapped and crushed"

    So, I deduct that absolutely nobody responsible was present when it was decided to do the "renovation".

    Another case of right hand doesn't know what left hand is doing.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe SpaceX cab squeeze them in?

    Just asking, for a friend.

  7. HuBo

    Las(t) Vega(s)?

    It seems that the Vega project manager (maître d’œuvre) Avio, isn't at its first snafu in this saga. Not really one that I'd want to keep involved in future ESA activities (lowest bidder? riskiest gambler?).

    1. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

      Re: Las(t) Vega(s)?

      Have an upvote. I also had to re-read that heading that looked like "Las Vegas rocket launch" and the tower in the twilight.

      Ignition ========>

  8. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    Perhaps ESA could commission Suzanne Vega to pen a lament, for Vega

    1. HuBo

      Re: Lament

      My name is Fluka?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Zolko Silver badge

    elections in 2024

    There are elections for the European Parliament in 2024, may-be time to remember Einstein: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results ". Time to vote for another Europe ?

    1. HuBo
      Thumb Up

      Re: elections in 2024

      Right on! Time to vote for an EU that includes Ukraine (and NATO too!)!

      1. Justthefacts Silver badge

        Re: elections in 2024

        Then prepare to be the one who loved not wisely, but too well. Downvotes will divide into those who recognise the quote, and those who’ve actually read the play.

        1. HuBo

          Re: elections in 2024

          Ah-ha! Angling to cross swords are we, Mr. justthef. Well with that nose of yours the size of a Pinocchian peninsula, I have to expect you'll struggle to maintain the straightest of aims, face, and even balance. Shakespeare you say? Well, in this reality Putin cast himself in the role of Othello, with the tragic ending that is so well known and deserved. Desdemona, yes, that's Ukraine of course, but in this rewrite she actually escapes to the EU and lives a long and productive life, with many children, happily ever after. That's the difference between Villers-Cotterêts' most creative Dumas, and the most destructive Russian State Duma (as you well know!).

          1. Justthefacts Silver badge

            Re: elections in 2024

            No, it would be Putin playing Iago, and EU playing Othello, with Ukraine as Desdemona. Iago may be the malevolent who plans it, but it is Othello who murders Desdemona in a jealous rage. And then commits suicide right after this speech.

            1. HuBo

              Re: elections in 2024

              Pffffrrrrt! Iago is obviously Prigozhin, "a soldier who has fought beside [Putin] for several years, and has become his trusted advisor" and cook! Shoigu (Cassio) then condemned him to be modernly "imprisoned and tortured as punishment for his crimes" -- aka exploded inside a moving plane ...

  10. Justthefacts Silver badge

    One-off risk?

    So, they’re going to make a one-off Frankendesign cut-and-shut between old and new versions? Never tested in flight? The probability of explosive launch failure is super-high on that. Versus, just waiting a few further months until Vega-C is ready, and launching on that. Makes zero sense, unless they know something we don’t, and Vega-C is going to be delayed even much further, at least 2025 or 202*. My money is on that. Just wait long enough, eventually these grifters tell on themselves in the small print.

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: One-off risk?

      Calm down Justthefacts Britain has not left or been kicked out of ESA.

      Britain takes part with about 9% of the budget.

      1. Justthefacts Silver badge

        Re: One-off risk?

        WTF are you on about? How is the UKs continued membership of ESA (along with Canada and for some purposes Turkey and Israel) relevant to this? I worked in the space industry for two decades, and managed some of ESA’s largest projects. What space industry experience is on *your* CV?

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: One-off risk?

          Internet rule of thumb #1: when somebody drops an academic achievement or professional experience into an online discussion, odds on they are bullshitting.

          I have a PhD in calling out internet bullshitters…..

          1. Justthefacts Silver badge

            Re: One-off risk?

            Internet rule #2: Or, they are correct. *You* can’t easily tell the difference. And I don’t really. My CV speaks for itself, and I don’t care to splatter it here.

            But what you *can* tell is that on the very specific point about the recent record of recent progress on the Ariane 6 test and Vega C failure, I have been verifiably correct, multiple times on this forum. Not reported initially by ESA, ElReg, and hotly denied by fanboi commenters.

            I was able to say that: A) The underlying cause of Vega-C failure was *not* due to the failure of the Ukrainian engine manufacturer, as originally claimed by ESA. And so it transpired: in fact, the throat was fully conformant to the *test spec* that ESA required. When “a European manufacturer” produced a brand-new throat of their own design, some months later, to the same test spec, the new part failed again in exactly the same way

            B) I was able to say, minutes after the event, that the Ariane 6 hot fire test on 23rd November, which ESA announced as “successful” and “pass”, in fact was *not*. It was a fail. The test aborted late through the planned fire.

            C) The Ariane 6 *upper* stage test on 7th December, which failed due to an abort, I already wrote that it failed a couple days later. ESA didn’t report it then, ElReg didn’t report it, and I got a bunch of downvotes when I said that it is what happened. But ESA have now admitted it, when pushed in a press conference on 14th Dec.


            So if I am a bullshitter, why do I call it right every single time? Just lucky, I guess.

            1. ArrZarr Silver badge

              Re: One-off risk?

              Or you're cherry picking the times you were right and carefully sweeping the times you weren't right under the rug and hoping that nobody goes through your comment history to find all the times you were wrong.

              This is the internet and bad faith arguments are a dime a dozen.

              I don't have an opinion on whether you are competent or qualified on the subject matter, I only have an opinion that the internet is full of bad faith bullshitters and scepticism must be the default stance in these discussions.

              1. Justthefacts Silver badge

                Re: One-off risk?

                Perhaps just go through what you have just written yourself. Imagine somebody else wrote it. See if you can find the logical hole you could pick in that argument. Beyond that, I can’t help.

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: One-off risk?

                  You can claim whatever you like on an internet forum, because you’ll never have to prove it. And nobody is that interested anyway.

                  Neither does it matter. But you generally find that genuine people never do the “I’m this and I’ve got this experience / qualification” etc crap. Nor would that want to be going to any length to try to back it up. Instant red light. You just doubled down on the doubt.

                2. ArrZarr Silver badge

                  Re: One-off risk?

                  Indeed, my previous post in this thread could itself be a bad faith argument designed to defame you and ruin your reputation.

                  It wasn't, but you're going to have to take that on trust - exactly like how we are supposed to take your CV speaking for itself on trust.

                  All I have to go on is that you can post posts that sound knowledgeable on rocket science and can pull out examples where you were apparently correct on the issue ahead of the investigation results being released, your username and the tone of your posts.

                  Oh, I can also check your post history. Of course it's true that you have a life outside of commenting on El Reg. articles, but unless you've hidden it, even your point (C) on the Ariane 6 upper stage test abort, pointing it out and getting "A bunch of downvotes" does not appear to be true, unless this was made on a different site, which I'm not realistically able to check.

                  edit: Double checked A and it checks out. Not sure why you got downvoted for it, but then I'm usually not sure why I get a random downvote on a chunk of my posts.

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