A Vega rocket powered by a Ukrainian made engine successfully launched from the European spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana on Thursday morning.
The European Space Agency’s LISA Pathfinder mission launched atop a Vega rocket begins a year-long mission to demonstrate technologies that could be used for future missions to observe gravity waves.
Ukrainian RD-869 engine was originally developed for the post-boost stage of the R-36M2 missile.
LISA Pathfinder was the sixth launch for the four-stage Vega European rocket, which made its debut in 2012. Vega is built by Italian prime contractor ELV, a joint venture between Avio and the nation's space agency, ASI.
The launch was delayed from yesterday to review engineering data about how much heating the rocket's liquid-fuelled fourth-stage would be subjected to during flight.
Vega is designed mainly for Earth observation, science and technology-demonstration satellites.