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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 12:17 GMT
Venus probe gets new launch date

Venus Express, European Space Agency

Venus Express, the European probe that will explore the second planet from the Sun, has been given a new launch date.

The craft will now launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 9 November, the Russian space agency has said.

Lift-off aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket was set for 26 October, but the launch was postponed after insulation was found to have contaminated the probe.

The mission aims to investigate Venus' harsh climate, thought to be the result of runaway greenhouse warming.

The launch was postponed on Friday 21 October when particles of contaminating material were discovered inside the probe's rocket.

The spacecraft had to be removed from the upper stage of the launch vehicle and moved to a different assembly building at the Kazakhstan spaceport.

Engineers began inspecting the damage last Monday and found that bits of the insulating material that protects the spacecraft inside the upper stage of the rocket had worked loose.

Europe's Venus mission delayed
21 Oct 05 |  Science/Nature
Planet Venus completes transit
08 Jun 04 |  Science/Nature
Venus clouds 'might harbour life'
25 May 04 |  Science/Nature
Reworked images reveal hot Venus
13 Jan 04 |  Science/Nature
Venus has 'heavy metal mountains'
25 Nov 03 |  Science/Nature

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