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Weather delays Ariane again; Sea Launch pushed back to late February
Posted: Wed, Jan 10, 2001, 12:23 AM ET (0523 GMT)
An Ariane 4 booster scheduled for launch Tuesday was delayed for the second consecutive day by high winds above the Kourou, French Guiana launch site. Arianespace will try again to launch the rocket, carrying the Eurasiasat 1 communications satellite, Wednesday between 5:09 and 6:53 pm EST (2209 and 2353 GMT). Meanwhile, Sea Launch officials said they will wait until February 28 before making another attempt to launch a Zenit 3SL after Monday's launch attempt was aborted 11 seconds before liftoff. Officials of the multinational launch company said the booster needs to be returned to its home port of Long Beach, California to replace its first-stage engine because some "pre-ignition processes" had started when the countdown was aborted. The launch was aborted because of an "out-of-specification" condition with the booster's payload, the XM-1 radio broadcasting satellite, that turned out to be a false alarm. The XM-1 launch delay will also push back the launch of its sister satellite, XM-2, from later in the first quarter until mid-April.
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