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Arianespace postpones Soyuz flight with two satellites for Europe's Galileo system

(Xinhua)

16:53, October 21, 2011

PARIS, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Arianespace postponed Thursday Soyuz's first flight from the spaceport in French Guiana with a pair of satellites for Europe's Galileo satellites navigation system.

"The VS 01 launch is postponed," the live broadcast subtitle said, without giving more details. VS 01 is the code given by the Arianespace to name Soyuz's first flight from the spaceport in French Guiana.

Due to an abnormality discovered during the final countdown, the launch of Soyuz has to be delayed for 24 hours and a new date will be announced later, AFP quoted source from the European Space Agency and the Arianespace as saying.

Soyuz, the Russian-built launcher has the mission to send the two IOV (In-Orbit Validation) satellites to join Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system.

With mass of 700 kilograms each, the two satellites were built by a consortium led by prime contractor Astrium, a subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), with Thales Alenia Space.

This pair of IOV satellites will form the operational nucleus of Europe's full 30-satellite Galileo navigation constellation in a collaborative program of the European Space Agency and European Union. Another two will be orbited by Soyuz in 2012.

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