Russia Delays First Vostochny Launch – UPDATE

Russia Delays First Vostochny Launch – UPDATE

An automatic system shut down Russia’s first launch from the new Vostochny launch site in Siberia last night 90 seconds before the scheduled liftoff of a Soyuz 2.1a rocket.  Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos hopes to try again today — 10:01 pm Eastern Daylight Time (which is April 28, 5:01 am Moscow Time).

Russia’s official news agency, TASS, quoted an unnamed space industry official as saying that the automatic system “identified a glitch in one of the instruments of the control system responsible for starting and stopping the engines, for the separation of rocket stages, and for the direction of flight.”

The launch had been scheduled for April 26, 2016 at 10:01 pm Eastern Daylight Time (April 27, 5:01 am Moscow Time).

Roscosmos officials stressed that the problem is with the rocket, not the spaceport’s infrastructure. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin was at Vostochny for the launch and will remain there today with the expectation that it is a 24-hour delay only.  He will use the time to discuss plans for the second and third phases of development of the new spaceport and construction of the town of Tsiolkovsky.

Note:  This article was updated throughout at 6:30 am EDT April 27.


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