July 02, 2018 15:19
Launch of Soyuz-ST with European satellite from Kourou spaceport delayed until Nov 6 - source
BRUSSELS. July 2 (Interfax) - Russia does not have enough time to launch three Soyuz-ST launch vehicles from the Kourou Space Center before the end of 2018 due to a delay in the program of launches.
The launch of Soyuz-ST launch vehicle with a European satellite was initially scheduled for October 6, a source in the aerospace industry told Interfax.
"However, evaluating relevant conditions and the launch vehicle's readiness, the decision was made to move the launch to November 6," the source said.
In all, three Russian launch vehicles were expected to take off from the Kourou Space Center by the yearend. Italy's CSG-1 satellite was scheduled to be launched in November, which was to be followed by the launch of OneWeb's pilot mini-satellites.
Due to the delay of the European weather-forecasting satellite's launch, the launch of two more rockets from Kourou was endangered.
"One of the three launches has to be postponed until next year. This is most likely to be Italy's CSG-1 satellite. However, a lift-off of satellites under the contract with OneWeb may be adjourned," he said.
MetOp weather-forecasting satellites are a constellation of weather-forecasting satellites, which are on the polar orbit at a distance of about 800 kilometers from the Earth. The first MetOp-A satellite was lifted off on October 19, 2006, the second MetOp-B satellite on September 17, 2012. Both weather-forecasting stations have successfully been operating on orbit since their launch.
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