Russia’s space agency has been left red faced, after a last-minute technical hitch forced it to delay the inaugural launch of a Soyuz rocket from its new launchpad.
Point of view
"We need to determine the failure and fix it. It's not related to the operation of the mobile service tower, launching system"
The unmanned rocket – carrying three satellites – had been due to blast off from Vostochny, in the eastern Amur region.
Officials say they are investigating what has gone wrong.
“We need to determine the failure and fix it. It’s not related to the operation of the mobile service tower, launching system,” said Igor Burenkov, Roscosmos spokesman.
The Vostochny launch site has been built to end Russia’s reliance on the Baikonur cosmodrome in neighbouring Kazakhstan.
All being well, the rocket is now due to be launched on Thursday morning.
Tonight we welcome the Vostochny Cosmodrome for its debut launch. And President Putin will be there (no pressure!) pic.twitter.com/Y5xDbAC60X— Chris B – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 26 April 2016