Feeds

Contamination delays Venus Express launch

No new date from ESA yet

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
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.
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?