MUSES-C Launch Delayed
26 Sep 2002
(Source: Space News)
The launch of Japan's MUSES-C asteroid mission has been delayed from late this year until May because of a spacecraft problem, Space News reported Wednesday.
The spacecraft's attitude control system failed a test in April, and it took engineers until August to correct the problem, which was eventually traced to faulty O-rings in a helium regulator. Those repairs delayed other preparations for launch, forcing the Japanese space agency ISAS to delay the launch from late November or December until May of 2003. the spacecraft is still scheduled to arrive at asteroid 1998 SF36 in October 2005, returning with a small sample of the asteroid in June 2007. The launch delay will also push back the launch of the Lunar-A moon mission from mid-2003 to 2004.