Measat’s Ariane 5 Launch Pushed to September by Co-passenger Delays

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PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Measat of Malaysia on June 5 said its Measat-3b telecommunications satellite, already delayed from May to June because of issues with its Ariane 5 rocket co-passenger, Optus-10, will not launch before September.

Kuala Lumpur-based Measat said Measat-3b will remain in storage at Europe’s Guiana Space Center spaceport, on the northeast coast of South America, awaiting the availability of a launch slot aboard Europe’s Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket.

Launch services provider Arianespace of Evry, France, is contending with what had been foreseen as a record-breaking launch rhythm in 2014 as it conducts missions on Ariane 5, the medium-lift Soyuz and the smaller Vega rockets.

The Optus-10 telecommunications satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, California, for Australia’s Optus, has been returned to its production facility to allow the manufacturer to make repairs and perform testing before preparing for launch.

Arianespace had no immediate comment on the effect of the delay on its 2014 Ariane 5 manifest. The company’s next launch, set for July 10, will be of a Soyuz rocket carrying four Ka-band broadband satellites for O3b Networks. An Ariane 5 vehicle is scheduled to launch, in late July, Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle to the international space station.

 

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