Soyuz launch from Kourou delayed due to fuel system shutdown

RIA Novosti

13:39 20/10/2011 MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - The first ever launch of a Russian Soyuz-ST space rocket from the European Space Agency’s Kourou launch site in French Guyana has been delayed until Friday due to technical glitch during fueling, chief of ESA's Moscow office Rene Pichel said at a press conference.

The rocket, which had been due to launch at 10:34 GMT on Thursday, is due to deliver a satellite for the European Galileo satellite navigation system.

Pichel said that while fueling the carrier rocket with oxygen, the system automatically shut down , which has caused the delay in the launch.

"In connection with this, the launch has been delayed," Pichel said.

The Russian carrier rocket will deliver two satellites for the European navigation system Galileo. There are currently two test satellites operating at near-Earth orbit that were delivered in 2005 and 2008. The entire navigation system requires a total of 30 satellites, which is six more than the United States' GPS navigational system. The European navigation system should be completely operational in 2020.

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