Cluster launch postponement
15 July 2000Update 16 July 10:50 The State Commission has given the final go-ahead for launch today.The launch of the first pair of ESA's Cluster II spacecraft has been postponed due to an anomaly detected between the ground system and the Soyuz launch vehicle. A State Commission, the official body that authorises the launch, was convened to validate the source of the problem and confirmed that both the Cluster II spacecraft and the Soyuz launch, including the Fregat upper stage, are in nominal configuration. The launch is rescheduled to take place tomorrow, 16 July, at 12:39 GMT (14:39 CEST). The launch will as usual be confirmed by a State Commission which will meet 4 hours before liftoff.
This hold during the launch chronology has demonstrated the robustness of the Soyuz launching process which has been so efficient in the past.
"We are still looking forward to a successful launch tomorrow which will lead to the exciting results that we are expecting from the Cluster mission", said Prof. Roger Bonnet, ESA's Director of Science. This short delay will not have any impact on the spacecraft orbits, the expected science and the launch of the second pair of Clusters still scheduled for 9 August.