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Rosetta launch delayed
Posted: Thu, Feb 26, 2004, 10:28 AM ET (1528 GMT)
Rosetta spacecraft illustration (ESA) The launch of a European mission to a comet has been delayed 24 hours because of high winds at the launch site. The Rosetta spacecraft was scheduled to launch atop an Ariane 5 rocket at 2:36 am EST (0736 GMT) from Kourou, French Guiana. However, launch controllers scrubbed the launch because of high winds at altitudes of about 10-15 kilometers. The winds would not have posed a risk to the launch vehicle itself, but in the event of an explosion could have blown debris towards populated areas. The near-instantaneous launch windows last only a couple of seconds each day, giving no opportunity to hold and wait for the winds to subside. ESA and Arianespace have rescheduled the launch for the same time on Friday. ESA has until March 17 to launch Rosetta on a complex trajectory towards the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta will arrive at the comet in late 2014.
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