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Russia has delayed the launch of the Soyuz-2 carrier with the European MetOp weather satellite from Baikonur on Wednesday for the third time this week
Russia has delayed the launch of the Soyuz-2 carrier with the European MetOp weather satellite from Baikonur on Wednesday for the third time this week. “An error occurred in the launch sequence during pre-launch operations with the carrier. Therefore a decision was made to delay the launch for 24 hours,” a Baikonur official told Itar-Tass. Initially the carrier with the European satellite MetOp was scheduled for Monday, July 17, but it was delayed twice because of a technical problem. “The launch of the Soyuz-2 carrier with a Fregat booster will be carried out today at 20:28 Moscow time,” a Roskosmos official said. The Soyuz-2 is a new type of carrier rocket equipped exclusively with Russian-made components. The MetOp satellite will be put in orbit close to the polar one 68 minutes after the launch. The satellite was the first to be built by the EADS Astrium Company for the European Space Agency and the EUMETSAT organisation of satellite meteorology. The Soyuz-2 rocket was designed and manufactured at the Samara State Space Rocket Design Bureau “TSKB-PROGRESS”. A rapid board digital computer is the key element of the Soyuz-2 control system. During the flight, it constantly receives signals from the sensitive elements of the control system, compares the current parameters with the programmed ones and issues signal commands. The Soyuz-2 carrier was test launched from Plesetsk on November 8, 2004. The rocket’s lift-off mass is 311 tonnes. The Soyuz-2 carrier rocket is capable of putting 7,480 kilograms of payload to the near-Earth orbit at an altitude of 200 kilometres. The MetOp system is a European contribution to the programme of creating a polar satellite system, implemented jointly with the United States. It is designed to improve weather prospecting in various regions on Earth that are still uncovered by the existing satellite systems. The MetOp satellites are equipped with American instruments. They can be used to watch the surface of Earth and search for ships and planes in distress. The quipment also ensures the compatibility of weather observation data and the currently existing formats as well as new-generation European sensors that make it possible more accurately to gauge the temperature and humidity of the atmosphere, its ozone content, wind velocity, and the direction of the movement of air masses. There will be three spacecraft in the series, all in all. The MetOp will be the first European meteosatellite to operate in a near-polar orbit. Spacecraft of the MetOp series will operate as the so-called morning coverage satellites. “By virtue of the peculiarities of the near-polar Sun-synchronous orbit, the satellites will pass above all the observed regions approximately at one and the same time -- in local morning hours while American satellites will provide the so-called afternoon coverage,” the Roskosmos official said. The Metop-A will operate for five years. Work on the other two satellites of the series is almost completed. The spacecraft will remain in storage until the launch date.
Print Russia has delayed the launch of the Soyuz-2 carrier with the European MetOp weather satellite from Baikonur on Wednesday for the third time this week Bookmark Russia has delayed the launch of the Soyuz-2 carrier with the European MetOp weather satellite from Baikonur on Wednesday for the third time this week

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