Intelsat launch delay
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Intelsatís giant I-14 craft is still standing on its launch pad. It should have launched last Saturday.
The plan was for the satellite to be orbited from Floridaís Cape Canaveral (from pad 41) on an Atlas V rocket. Now the rocketís fuel has been drained while an important electrical component on the rocket is switched out.
The Intelsat satellite is fine. Built by Space Systems/Loral, it is the thirteenth such model to be launched.
Intelsat-14 is needed on station to replace an aging Intelsat-1R craft that has problems with its solar panels, which are losing efficiency at a faster rate than planned. It is nine years old, and would normally have been expected to last some 15 years.
Thereís a possibility that the launch could be re-scheduled for today (Tuesday).