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Raumfahrt - Ariane-V-209-Start am 28.09.2012

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The ASTRA 2F satellite to be orbited on Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission is now undergoing...

...pre-flight checkout, joining its GSAT-10 co-passenger at the Spaceport launch site in French Guiana. Built by the Astrium division of EADS for Luxembourg-based SES, ASTRA 2F was removed from its shipping container in the Spaceport’s S1B clean room, where the relay platform arrived after being delivered to French Guiana yesterday by a chartered cargo jetliner.

ASTRA 2F is a six metric ton-class platform that carries Ku- and Ka-band payloads for the relay of high performance DTH and next-generation broadband services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It will be lofted by Arianespace’s Ariane 5 mission on September 21 along with GSAT-10, which continues its own preparation activity at the Spaceport. GSAT-10 was produced by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) using the I-3K satellite bus, and has an estimated liftoff mass of 3,400kg. This upcoming mission will be the 65th flight of an Ariane 5 from French Guiana, and the fifth so far in 2012 for the workhorse Arianespace heavy-lift launcher.

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The launch of Indian communication satellite GSAT-10 has been put off after the European space consortium Arianespace which was to orbit it, found a snag in the Ariane V rocket in the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana, ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said today.

 

Arianespace was scheduled to launch GSAT-10 along with ASTRA 2F spacecraft, built by the Astrium division of EADS for Luxembourg-based SES, in the early hours of September 22.

But on September 15, Arianespace found a "small snag" ("small damage") (leakage) on the upper side of the Ariane rocket and the commercial launch services provider is now  checking if one gram of dust particles that was not accounted for, has stuck to critical moving parts.

"One gram of dust particles could have probably gone inside (the rocket). So, the idea is to find out whether it's sticking to a critical moving part", Radhakrishnan told reporters here.

Since GSAT-10 is placed in "bottom enclosure" of the rocket, "we are in a safer situation", added Radhakrishnan, also Department of Space Secretary and Space Commission Chairman.

Arianespace is expected to announce the new launch date on Wednesday evening. If everything is all right, the earliest possible launch would be on September 29. Otherwise, it will take a few more days, he said.

GSAT-10 is a Rs 750 crore mission for Indian Space Research Organisation, including satellite, launch services and insurance, officials said.

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Update: 26.09.2012

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