Feeds

Rosetta still earthbound

Urgent repairs mean no comet chasing until Monday

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The launch of the comet-chasing Rosetta mission has been delayed again, this time to allow for repairs to the Ariane 5 rocket's thermal sheilding. Lift-off was cancelled after the mission team noticed an area of foam protecting the main fuel tank was missing during a final inspection.

This thermal protection prevents potentially dangerous lumps of ice forming on the tank. The launcher will be moved to the Spaceport's final assembly building where engineers will replace the missing foam block.

The glue holding the new piece in place takes around 36 hours to dry and set, so the next launch attempt will be made on Monday next week.

ESA director of science, Dr. David Southwood, said that the ESA felt an attachment to cometary exploration: "Rosetta is psychologically very important for us in Europe, because we did get closest to Halley (with Giotto). So comets are ours," he told the BBC last week.

The Ariane 5 rocket has a colourful history, and the Rosetta mission has in the past been delayed because of concerns over its reliability. Scientists must be hoping that this latest hiccupp is just that, and that everything goes according to plan on Monday. ®

Related stories

Comet-chasing Rosetta still on launchpad
Comet chasers seek secret of life

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.