Leaky Fuel Valve Delays Galileo Launch

Galileo IOVs being installed inside Soyuz Fregat upper stage. ESA, CNES, Arianespace, Optique Video du CSG, S.Martin

A faulty valve that caused a fuel leak has delayed today’s (October 20, 2011) planned launch of the first Galileo in-orbit vehicle (IOV).

Arianespace said the would be postponed until Friday (October 21, 2011) because a problem in a valve used to disconnect the rocket’s fueling system on take-off had led to the disconnection mechanism being triggered ahead of the take-off.

The Soyuz ST-B had moved to its launch pad last week and the Upper Composite containing twin Galileo IOVs placed on top of it.


A faulty valve that caused a fuel leak has delayed today’s (October 20, 2011) planned launch of the first Galileo in-orbit vehicle (IOV).

Arianespace said the would be postponed until Friday (October 21, 2011) because a problem in a valve used to disconnect the rocket’s fueling system on take-off had led to the disconnection mechanism being triggered ahead of the take-off.

The Soyuz ST-B had moved to its launch pad last week and the Upper Composite containing twin Galileo IOVs placed on top of it.

According to the European Space Agency (ESA), the Soyuz rocket had passed its launcher readiness review on October 18 following a complete dress rehearsal the previous day. Lift off is now scheduled for 12:30 CEST (10:30 GMT, 5:30 EDT) on Friday, a precise timing designed to inject the two Galileo satellites into their precise orbital plane.