Engineers Identify Cause of Ariane 5 Launch Abort

The Ariane 5 launcher for Arianespace Flight VA239 – outfitted with the Intelsat 37e and BSAT-4a satellite passengers – approaches its launch zone at the Spaceport in French Guiana. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Just after the ignition of Ariane 5’s main stage Vulcain engine, the on-board computer detected an anomaly affecting electrical equipment on one of the two solid-propellant boosters (EAP). This anomaly led to an interruption of the automated lift-off sequence.

This interruption is perfectly compliant with our procedures which authorize a launch only if 100% of launcher equipment is fully operational. This rule guarantees the reliability and robustness of our launch system.

An analysis started immediately after the countdown interruption. It will continue to identify the anomaly’s cause and determine the measures to be taken in order to resume launch operations as soon as possible.

As the analysis is underway, Ariane 5 will be transferred to the Final Assembly Building (BAF) on Thursday, September 7, once the tanks have been purged. The two satellites, Intelsat 37e and BSAT-4a, are safe under the fairing atop the launcher.

As soon as the analysis of the anomaly has been completed, Arianespace will announce a new launch date. The objective is to launch around the end of September 2017.

This postponement does not affect the other launches scheduled for the end of 2017.

  • That’s PROBABLY a good reason to abort the launch. Better to take a few weeks than to have a satellite at the bottom of the drink!

  • publiusr

    It’s that same rag 😉

  • Larry J

    Or even worse, a launch pad RUD. I love it when systems like this work exactly as intended.