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Rosetta Launch Delayed By Weather.

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Rosetta spacecraft delayed.
Rosetta spacecraft delayed: Image credit: http://www.esa.int/export/esaCP/SEMTM62PGQD_index_1.html.

The launch of the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft was delayed for 24-hours because of high winds at the launch site at Kourou, French Guiana. The Ariane 5 rocket is now due to lift off on Friday morning at 0736 UTC (2:36 am EST). Rosetta has a launch instant, not a launch window. This means that it has to get off the launch pad within a few seconds, or it needs to be delayed for a full day. The spacecraft has until May 17 to fly in order to reach Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by 2014; otherwise, controllers will need to choose a new target.

Today's launch of Flight 158 with the Rosetta spacecraft has been put on hold for 24 hours due to weather at Europe's spaceport in French Guiana.

Rosetta launch webcast

The weather hold was due to wind conditions at altitude, which are part of the safety considerations of each Ariane launch.

Both the Ariane 5G launch vehicle and its Rosetta comet-intercept payload have been put in a safe mode.

Arianespace Chief Executive Officer Jean-Yves Le Gall announced the hold approximately 20 minutes before today's early morning scheduled lift-off time.

The Rosetta launch time is now planned at 04:36 local time (08:36 CET) on Friday 27 February.

Original Source: ESA News Release

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