Third launch scrub of first Belgian nano-satellite

The launch on Sunday of the Russian rocket Soyuz, originally anticipated to be Friday from French Guiana and already postponed twice, was once again deferred to today (Monday). This time it was owing to a technical problem, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced shortly before its planned take-off on yesterday (Sunday) evening. The first Belgian nano-satellite, Oufti-1, will have to wait again before being thrust into orbit.

“A problem has arisen with the inertial measurement unit,” Stéphane Israël, the CEO of the company Arianespace indicated. “For this evening, the mission has been terminated.” Work is ongoing to ensure its launch today. Initially anticipated for Friday, the take-off of de Soyuz had already had to be postponed twice, owing to weather conditions.

The Russian rocket needed to be loaded with three so-called “Cube-Sats”, cube-shaped nano-satellites, of which Oufti-1, that was designed by students from the the University of Liège and several universities from the Liège region, as part of the ESA’s programme “Fly Your Satellite”, which aims to stimulate both scientific studies and careers.

The launcher alwo needed to send the European satellite Sentinel-1B into space, the twin brother of Sentinel-1A launched two years ago and a French micro-satellite, intending to prove a principal of Einstein’s theory.

A new attempt should hopefully be made within 24 hours.

(Source: Belga)

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