Strong winds again delay last Ariane-4 launch

Ariane flight 159
14 February 2003

The last launch of an Ariane 4, scheduled for the morning of Wednesday 12 February, has again been postponed due to unfavourable weather conditions.

The prevailing winds at Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, continue to exceed established limits for launch operations, preventing the final coutdown from being initiated.

On Wednesday, the weather at ground level had been fine throughout the day, but high altitude winds led to the countdown being stopped before the mobile service gantry was withdrawn. As a result, activity on the launch pad was suspended prior to the startup of the third stage fueling.

Flight 159's Ariane 4 and its payload have been put in a safe mode and remain on the launch pad, protected by the mobile service gantry.

The weather situation will be reviewed later on today and an update issued as soon as further news becomes available.

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