September 8, 2008

Russia Postpones Launch of European Satellite

Excerpt from report by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti

Moscow, 8 September: The launch of the Rokot Russian rocket with the GOCE satellite, the first European satellite designed to measure the Earth's gravitation field and study the circulation of water in the World Ocean, was to take place on 10 September but has been postponed indefinitely for technical reasons, Lt-Col Aleksey Zolotukhin, aide to the commander of the Russian Space Troops for information, told RIA-Novosti on Monday [8 September]. The launch was to be carried out by the Russian Space Troops. [Passage omitted].

"On Sunday, when the booster rocket Rokot was undergoing electrical tests, specialists identified faults within the control system of the Briz-KM upper stage," Zolotukhin said. "Currently the specialists of the launching site [Plesetsk] together with representatives of the cooperation of the rocket and space industry are analysing the faults identified. After individual components of the control system have been replaced and additional electrical tests have been carried out, the state commission will set a date for the launch," the commander's aide said. [Passage omitted]

Originally published by RIA Novosti news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1304 08 Sep 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.