Feeds

Contamination delays Venus Express launch

No new date from ESA yet

A new approach to endpoint data protection

Mission managers at the European Space Agency have postponed the launch of Venus Express, Europe's first mission to our so-called twin planet. The new launch date has not been announced, but ESA says it will be "several days" late.

The launch was due to take place atop a Soyuz-Fregat launcher this Wednesday (26 October), but during final preparations for the launch, insulation from the rocket launcher was found to have contaminated the satellite, ESA said.

The contamination could have come either from the fairings, which protect the satellite during the launch, or from the upper booster stage of the rocket, the BBC reports.

A spokesperson told the BBC: "The satellite is contaminated, so they will have to dismantle and re-mount it."

If its launch is successful, and its journey to Venus uneventful, Venus Express will slot into a polar orbit around our sister planet some time next spring. The satellite is set to gather data on the Venusian atmosphere so scientists can work out how the conditions on the planet arose.

Although Venus is very similar to Earth in size, its environment could hardly be more different. It has an incredibly thick and acidic atmosphere causing crushing pressures of around 100 Earth atmospheres at the surface, and an ambient temperature of nearly 500C. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?