Arianespace Reschedules Helios Launch

December 15, 2009

Arianespace rescheduled the launch of the French Space Agency’s (CNES) Helios 2B military observation satellite for Dec. 17, Arianespace announced.

The launch was delayed when a problem was found with the rocket’s liquid helium subsystem on the cryogenic main stage prior to a scheduled Dec. 9 launch. Work on the problem has been completed, Arianespace said.

Helios 2B, built and developed by EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, will be placed into a Sun-synchronous orbit and managed by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA), which assigned contracting authority for the space segment to CNES. Helios 2B is the second satellite in France’s next-generation space-borne observation system for military applications that will be used in conjunction with Belgium, Spain, Italy and Greece.