Launch of Soyuz-2 carrier rocket from N Russia pad postponed

PLESETSK, Arkhangelsk region, August 25 (Itar-Tass) – Russian space authorities have put off the launch of a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket from the Plesetsk Space Center in northern Russia for the beginning of September, the commander of Russian Space Troops, Gen Oleg Ostapenko said Thursday.

“Provisionally, the launch has been rescheduled for early September,” he said.

“A state commission met in session today,” Gen Ostapenko said. “A meeting of top technological officials is in progress now and they’ve decided to remove the rockets from the launching pad.”

“All the systems of the carrier rocket, the booster block and the space vehicle itself will undergo a thorough examination,” he said.

“A commission chaired by deputy chief of Roscosmos /Russian Space Agency – Itar-Tass/ Vladimir Shilov has been set up to spell out the further procedures,” Gen Ostapenko said.

“As for the specific dates of the launch, we haven’t determined them yet,” he said.

“The launch of this satellite /on time/ wasn’t critical for the orbital grouping of the global positioning and navigation system GLONASS,” Gen Ostapenko said. “Nothing bad will happen if we launch it a month later.”

As he mentioned Wednesday’s failed launch of a Soyuz-V carrier rocket from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan that resulted in a loss of the Progress cargo space vehicle, he said: “In most likelihood, there’s a system failure and we must track it down.”

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