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New date for CryoSat-2 satellite launch: ESA

CryoSat-2 in the 'space head module'. A ESA Photo by W.Simpson.

MOSCOW (BNS): The launch of ESA's Earth Explorer CryoSat-2 satellite will take place on 8th April, 2010.

The launch of CryoSat-2 was originally scheduled to take place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 25 February, but had to be postponed due to a technical issue with the fuel reserve in the launcher's second stage.

At present, the problem with the second stage of the Dnepr rocket that delayed the launch has been resolved.

The Ukrainian company responsible for the overall design of the Dnepr launcher, Yuzhnoye SDO, and the company that develops the launcher's control system, Hartron-Arkos, confirmed that the ratio of fuel to oxidiser could be adjusted to improve the performance of the second stage engine.

"When we visited Dnepropetrovsk in Ukraine we had a thorough briefing on the problem and solution from both Yuzhnoye SDO and Hartron-Arkos. We are confident that the change implemented increases reliability and has been properly validated," said Richard Francis, ESA's Project Manager for CryoSat-2, according to a ESA news report.

The CryoSat mission is dedicated to precise monitoring of the changes in the thickness of marine ice floating in the polar oceans and variations in the thickness of the vast ice sheets that overlay Greenland and Antarctica.

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