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Arianespace Reschedules Rosetta Launch For Early Tomorrow Morning

By | March 1, 2004

      Arianespace‘s Flight 158 aboard an Ariane 5 rocket has been rescheduled for early Tuesday morning, following a “minor repair” to the exterior of the vehicle’s cryogenic core stage over the weekend.

      The Ariane 5 was transferred from the company’s final assembly building to the launch zone for a second time in recent days to prepare for tomorrow morning’s lift-off. The rocket was rolled from the launch zone to the final assembly building last Friday, after a small piece of the thermal insulation apparently separated from the core cryogenic stage.

      A repair was made to the external protective layer covering the cryogenic core stage’s external surface. The layer provides insulation for the 155-metric tons of cold cryogenic propellant (liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen) that is loaded into the Ariane 5’s core stage.

      The small break-away of thermal insulation — discovered just hours before the scheduled lift-off last Friday — apparently was due to temperature changes from the fueling and de-fueling of the rocket’s cryogenic stage last week. The Ariane 5 originally had been fueled for a Feb. 16 launch, but was de-fueled after high upper winds over the Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, forced a scrub of the scheduled lift-off.

      For in-depth coverage of this story, see the March 8 issue of Satellite News. For more information about subscribing to PBI Media’s satellite newsletters, check out our Web site at /

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