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Vostochny launch may have been halted after sensor registered deviation — source

April 27, 8:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A source in the rocket and space industry reminded that a recent launch of the Soyuz-ST rocket carrier from the Kourou space center in French Guiana was postponed for 24 hours due to technical reasons
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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. The first rocket launch from Russia’s Vostochny spaceport might have been halted after a sensor registered deviation in one of indicators of Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket, a source in the rocket and space industry told TASS on Wednesday.

"These are indications of a sensor. I do not know for sure, telemetry should be reviewed, but if automatic systems aborted the launch, this means one of the parameters was beyond parameters set for the rocket," the source said.

He added that there is nothing to worry about. "This is normal, it happens all the time. If automatic systems do not find that the process of preparing for the launch is proceeding normally, if one of the parameters is wrong, then they halt preparations. This happened more than once, and there is nothing to worry about," he explained.

The source reminded that the recent launch of the Soyuz-ST rocket carrier from the Kourou space center in French Guiana was postponed for 24 hours due to technical reasons. "Automatic systems there halted the launch as well, and the carrier rocket was successfully launched the next day. This is routine practice. The same situation occurred in 2014 the launch of the Angara light carrier rocket," he noted.

The first launch from the Vostochny spaceport was due to take place at 5:01 a.m. Moscow time (02:01GMT) on Wednesday. Russia’s government commission at the Vostochny spaceport earlier approved of the decision to carry out the launch. The Soyuz-2.1a space rocket was due to put three satellites - Lomonosov, Aist-2D and SamSat-218 - into orbit.

However, automated control system aborted the launch 1.5 minutes before the scheduled time. The commission is currently investigating the reasons for launch abortion. The launch was preliminarily postponed for 24 hours.

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