Venus Express Launch on Hold
21 October 2005During the final preparations for the launch of the European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft by a Soyuz-Fregat launcher, contamination was detected inside the launcher's fairing.
The contamination means the spacecraft will have to be dismounted from the Fregat upper stage, cleaned, and then remounted onto the Fregat stage.
The contaminating material either came from the rocket's upper Fregat stage, or from the fairings, which protect the spacecraft during launch.
As a result of these additional checks Starsem and ESA have announced a postponement of the launch, originally scheduled launch for Wednesday 26 October, by several days.
The new launch date will be announced in due course.