SES has announced that the launch of its new Astra 1N satellite has been postponed due to an anomaly that occurred during the final launch count-down on 1 July, 2011. Following the anomaly detected on Friday during the launch attempt, Arianespace has decided to replace the valve of the EPC (the main cryogenic stage), which did not function normally. In order to carry out this operation, the Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle has been rolled back into the Final Assembly Building (BAF). The valve’s replacement and the ensuing operations should require approximately 20 days. Arianespace will reschedule the launch shortly.

Astra 1N is scheduled for launch on board an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. The new Astra satellite was built by Astrium in Toulouse, France, and is intended to first provide interim replacement capacity at the orbital location of 28.2° East. The satellite will subsequently be moved to 19.2° East, from where it will mainly serve the German, French and Spanish markets.

July 4th, 2011 - 14:06 UTC
by A.Sennitt
(Source: SES Astra)