This story is from the category Connectivity
Date posted: 20/10/2011
The maiden launch Thursday of a Russian-built Soyuz from Europe's space base, carrying the first satellites of a planned rival to the GPS, was scrubbed around two hours before liftoff, officials said.
Satellite launch operator Arianespace said the final countdown had been interrupted "following an anomaly detected during fueling of the Soyuz launcher's third stage."
"The Soyuz and its two Galileo satellites, along with the launch facility, have been placed in a safe mode," it said in a press release.
"A new launch date will be announced later today."
The European Space Agency (ESA) had earlier said the launch would be postponed by 24 hours.
Lift-off of the rocket carrying the first satellites in the Galileo system, Europe's 5.4-billion-euro (7.2-billion-dollar) answer to the US Global Positioning System (GPS), had been set for 7:34 a.m. (1034 GMT).
Galileo is designed to comprise 27 operational satellites and three spares by its completion in 2020.
It should be accurate to within a metre (3.25 feet), whereas the US Global Positioning System (GPS), which became operational in 1995 and is being upgraded, is currently accurate to between three and eight metres (10 and 26 feet), according to official websites.
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