This in earlier this AM from the ESA media office: Arianespace and the European Space Agency confirmed today that the launch of Jules Verne, the first Automated Transfer Vehicle, is delayed 24 hours due to a technical concern about the ATV/Ariane 5 launcher separation system. The Jules Verne launch is rescheduled for 00:59 Kourou time, 03:59 UTC, 04:59 CET on Sunday 9 March 2008. Full details after the jump.
(Reprint from ESA Web poortal): During the last validation step for the device which separates the 20-tonne European spacecraft from its launcher, a potential problem was identified with the fitting of the grounding straps located in the separation system. Today, after removal of the Ariane 5 fairing, this item will be checked again, consistent as always with the conservative and precautionary approach taken by ESA to its missions.
In order to maintain safe margins for the countdown, ESA and Arianespace decided to postpone the launch by one day.