SES has been forced to abort the launch of its ASTRA 1N satellite, in a dramatic move only moments before blast off after discovering an anomaly during the final launch count-down.

As reported by Rapid TV News, the new ASTRA 1N, built by Astrium, was scheduled for launch at 23:45 CET on 1 July onboard an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana.

At present SES has not been in a position to comment on the possible causes of the mission abort and is awaiting the results of the official investigation by launch service provider, Arianespace, who decided to conduct additional verifications. Arianespace will reschedule the launch as soon as possible.

The launch vehicle and its payload, the ASTRA 1N and the BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R satellite, have been placed in stand-by mode and are maintained in fully safe conditions.

The new ASTRA satellite is intended to be stationed at 19.2 East, from where it will mainly serve the German, French and Spanish markets.