A new rocket was successfully launched into orbit from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, carrying nine satellites.
After nine years of work, and roughly $930 million, the Vega rocket lifted off into space at 5:00 a.m. Monday morning at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, on the northern Atlantic coast of South America, Fox News said.
According to China Daily, the main objective of the Vega rocket is to provide Europe with a safe, reliable and competitive ability to carry science and Earth observation satellites into orbit, China Daily said.
The Italian-built rocket is named after the second-brightest star in the northern hemisphere. It stands about 100 feet tall and is 10 feet wide. Its total weight at liftoff was about 137 metric tons, Fox News said.
The first three stages of the rocket are powered by solid propellant, and the fourth stage, called AVUM, relies on a liquid propulsion system, Fox News said.
According to China Daily, seven European Space Agency member states including Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland support the program, China Daily said.
The first commercial contract for Vega has already been signed by Arianespace, Vega's commercial operator. More contracts are under negotiation, said China Daily.