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Launch of Europe's ATV-2 postponed

02-16-2011 13:35 BJT

PARIS, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Europe's second automated transfer vehicle (ATV-2), due to be launched from the Arianespace launching center in French Guiana at precisely 19:13 local time (GMT 2213) on Tuesday, failed to start its mission on time.

The countdown halted just prior to 4 minutes before the launch window opens, which made it impossible for the lift-off to continue as the time slot is too small to rearrange another try.

There will be "no attempts for tonight," the Arianespace Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jean-Yves Le Gall announced, adding a panel with expertise are doing investigation.

Later on, the launching center posted a statement explaining the delay, saying that "according to initial indications, there was erroneous data concerning the launcher's fueling, which resulted in the hold." The official statement didn't fix another date for the long- expected flight, though the voiceover in the live broadcast said Wednesday could be the possible day.

The sophisticatedly designed spacecraft, named after German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler, was expected to start Tuesday its over-three-months' journey to resupply the International Space Station (ISS).

Europe's first cargo resupply spacecraft Jules Verne was sent to dock with ISS also by an Ariane 5 in March 2008.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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