Emergency at Egyptian Satellite Launch Caused by Human Factor - Source

© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov / Go to the mediabankThe launch of the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket at the Vostochny Space Center
The launch of the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket at the Vostochny Space Center - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The emergency situation during the recent launch of the Egyptian earth observation satellite Egyptsat-A was caused by incorrect calibration of fuel sensors on the Soyuz carrier rocket prior to launch, a Russian space industry source told Sputnik.

Roscosmos said Thursday that EgyptSat-A had been successfully delivered to the designated orbit and was operating in nominal regime. However, Russian space industry sources told Sputnik that the third stage of the Soyuz rocket failed to bring the Egyptian satellite to a target orbit, and the Fregat booster was used to compensate for the orbiting error.

This Feb. 5, 2019, satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows a missile on a launch pad and activity at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran's Semnan province - Sputnik International
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"It was a human factor. Experts made a mistake while calibrating the sensors before the launch at the cosmodrome. As a result, the oxidizer at the third stage of the rocket was spent prematurely, and the engine shut down before the scheduled time," the source said.

READ MORE: NASA Winds Down 6-Year Satellite Mission to Study Earth's Deadly Radiation Belts

Earlier, a Russian space industry source told Sputnik that the launch of the first test satellites of the UK's OneWeb constellation into orbit from the Kourou spaceport using the Soyuz-ST carrier rocket might be postponed due to an emergency situation during the launch of Egyptsat-A satellite.

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