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[b]Jules Verne ATV launch rescheduled to 9 March[/b]
Arianespace and the European Space Agency confirm today that the launch of Jules Verne, the first Automated Transfer Vehicle, is delayed 24 hours due to a technical concern about the ATV/Ariane 5 launcher separation system.
During the last validation step for the device which separates the 20-tonne European spacecraft from its launcher, a potential problem was identified with the fitting of the grounding straps located in the separation system. Today, after removal of the Ariane 5 fairing, this item will be checked again, consistent as always with the conservative and precautionary approach taken by ESA to its missions.
In order to maintain safe margins for the countdown, ESA and Arianespace decided to postpone the launch by one day. The Jules Verne launch is rescheduled for 00:59 Kourou time, 03:59 UTC, 04:59 CET on Sunday 9 March 2008.
ESA's Jules Verne ATV will re-supply the International Space Station, delivering experiments, equipment and spare parts, as well as food, air and water for the permanent onboard crew.
[i]Jules Verne ATV is moved inside a special container (the CCU) to the Final Assembly Building (BAF) at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, where the spacecraft will be finally integrated with the launcher.[/i]
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