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Technical issue delays Sentinel-1B mission

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An archive photo of a previous Soyuz STA prior to liftoff. A technical issue delayed the April 24 launch attempt of the Soyuz carrying the Sentinel-1B mission. Photo Credit: Arianespace

KOUROU, French Guiana — After two delays due to unacceptable weather conditions, the third launch attempt of the Soyuz STA carrying the Sentinel-1B mission was called off about 45 minutes prior to liftoff due to a technical issue on the booster.

According to Stephane Israel, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, the Soyuz rocket’s Inertial Measurement Unit experienced an anomaly.

“Stop for tonight,” Israel tweeted, “Work in progress to confirm launch tomorrow.”

This was the third scrub in as many days for the vehicle and its payload. Liftoff had originally been scheduled for 6:02:13 p.m. GFT (5:02:13 p.m. EDT) Friday, April 22. After a 24-hour scrub due to bad weather, another attempt was planned for the next day at the same time. It too was scrubbed, this time due to upper level winds. Both weather-related scrubs occurred before the vehicle began fueling.

A new launch date will be set once mission teams determine the nature of the anomaly.

Tune into SpaceFlight Insider’s Mission Monitor for images from the launch site and for live coverage provided by the European Space Agency.

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Derek Richardson has a degree in mass media, with an emphasis in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a blog about the International Space Station, called Orbital Velocity. He met with members of the SpaceFlight Insider team during the flight of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket with the MUOS-4 satellite. Richardson joined our team shortly thereafter. His passion for space ignited when he watched Space Shuttle Discovery launch into space Oct. 29, 1998. Today, this fervor has accelerated toward orbit and shows no signs of slowing down. After dabbling in math and engineering courses in college, he soon realized his true calling was communicating to others about space. Since joining SpaceFlight Insider in 2015, Richardson has worked to increase the quality of our content, eventually becoming our managing editor.

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