An Ariane 5 rocket remains on the launch pad seconds after a rare post-engine ignition abort. Photo Credit: Arianespace
Arianespace recently released a preliminary analysis of the post-ignition launch abort of an Ariane 5 rocket carrying two communications satellites. The mission, designated flight VA239, was scheduled for liftoff at 5:51 p.m. EDT (21:51 GMT) Sept. 5, 2017, from the Guiana Space Centre in South America.
Moments after the ignition of the Ariane 5’s liquid-fuel main engine, the onboard computer detected an anomaly effecting electrical equipment on one of the rocket’s two side-mounted solid rocket boosters. This resulted in a shutdown of the automated launch sequence before the boosters – which cannot be turned off once on – were ignited.
“This interruption is perfectly compliant with our procedures which authorize a launch only if 100 percent of launcher equipment is fully operational,” Arianespace said in a press release. “This rule guarantees the reliability and robustness of our launch system.”
Data analysis began immediately after the countdown interruption. Teams will continue to diagnose the cause of the anomaly and determine what steps are needed to return to launch operations as soon as possible.
Following the abort, the Ariane 5 rocket and the ...