Launch of GOCE delayed
8 September 2008
The foreseen 27 October launch date of GOCE has had to be postponed to allow the enquiry board time to conclude its work. Last updated: 16 October 2008.
The preparatory activities for the launch of ESA's GOCE satellite from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia had to be stopped on 7 September by Eurockot due to an anomaly identified in one of the units of the guidance and navigation subsystem of the launcher's upper stage (Breeze KM).
The correction of the problem requires the replacement of this unit. In order to perform this operation, it will be necessary to de-couple the launcher's upper composite and transport it from the launch pad back to the integration room. Once in the clean room, the protective fairing that shelters the satellite will be opened and the spacecraft and its adaptor system will be dismounted in order to allow access to the Breeze KM equipment to be replaced.
Taking into account the duration of the refurbishment operations and the recouple of the adaptor system, satellite and fairing, the launch has been currently rescheduled for 5 October at the same time (16:21 CEST). The satellite and its mission will not be affected by this launch delay.