Source: “Soyuz-ST” will be removed from the launch at Kourou to replace the booster unit

Источник: «Союз-СТ» снимут со старта на космодроме Куру для замены разгонного блока

The carrier rocket “Soyuz-ST”, which is supposed to launch from Kourou in French Guiana, the satellite UAE Falcon Eye 2, will be removed from the launch complex to replace the upper stage “Fregat”. This decision was made on Friday following the talks, the specialists of the Russian Federation, France and the UAE, reported TASS a source in the space industry.

“The decision to remove the rocket from the launch pad and send in the Assembly and testing complex of the cosmodrome to replace the upper stage “Fregat”, which were previously identified non-critical comments. To start use a different booster available on Kuru,” — said the Agency interlocutor.

He explained that when a comprehensive pre-launch testing of launch vehicle on March 5, a failure was detected in the circuit Board unit heating one of the liquid rocket engines of small thrust management system “Fregat”.

“According to the analysis of RF experts came to the conclusion that this observation did not prevent the launch and regular removal of the satellite into orbit in the conditions of the Equatorial cosmodrome. However, Emirates customer decided to play it safe,” — said the source.

The interlocutor of the Agency noted that the “Fregat” and a new pre-launch checks in the assembled launch vehicle will take several weeks. “Pre-start delayed in the first decade of April,” he said.

Now the carrier rocket “Soyuz-ST” is still on the launch pad of the cosmodrome, it is planned to remove on March 9-10.

The postponement of the launch of “Soyuz-ST”

Initially the launch was scheduled for 04:33 GMT 6 Mar (22:33 5 Mar time French Guiana). On Thursday, a source in the rocket and space industry told TASS that the satellite launch UAE’s Falcon Eye 2 for optical-electronic reconnaissance tentatively postponed for a day due to problems with the upper stage. He also noted that the launch may be delayed for a longer period of time. The source claimed that this decision was taken due to problems in one of the cables of the upper stage “Fregat”.

Previously, the operator spaceflight Arianespace said on at least three planned launches using Russian rockets “Soyuz” from Kourou. Next on the list is the launch of the second military satellite for France. CSO 2 (the first launched in December 2019 rocket “Soyuz ST-A”). Also Arianespace expects in 2020 to launch two more games OneWeb satellites with Soyuz from Kourou.

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