Launch of SES-4 satellite from Russia postponed
December 26th, 2011 - 15:31 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.

The launch of a Russian Proton-M carrier rocket with the telecommunications satellite SES-4 (NSS-14) onboard was called off today due to “technical problems”, a spokesman for the Khrunichev State Research and Production Centre said. He said the new date for launch was being discussed. He did not elaborate on the cause of the delay. The launch would have been the 70th commercial launch of a Proton carrier rocket since 1995 and the 10th launch of this type of carrier rocket this year.

SES-4 is a 20 kW satellite with 52 C-band and 72 Ku-band transponders. It has C-band beams serving the eastern hemisphere of Europe and Africa, full coverage of the Americas, and a global beam to support mobile and maritime customers. Four high-power, regional Ku-band beams will provide service to Europe, the Middle East, West Africa as well as North and South America with extensive channel switching capability between C- and Ku-band transponders for enhanced connectivity.

The new satellite is based on the flight-proven Space Systems/Loral 1300 platform and designed to deliver services for 15 years or more. SES-4 will be the 50th satellite in the global SES fleet and will also be the largest, most powerful SES satellite. It will replace the NSS-7 satellite at 338 degrees East longitude and provide incremental capacity at this well established SES orbital slot.