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SES has confirmed that the launch of its new SES-2 satellite has been postponed as the result of industrial action at the Kourou space centre in French Guiana.
The Trade Union of French Guiana Workers (UTG) initiated a strike within the Telespazio company making unavailable certain means of measurement in the Space Centre which are deemed vital for an Ariane launch. Consequently, Arianespace and CNES (Centre Nationale d’Etudes Spaciales) have decided to postpone the launch.
Both CNES and Telespazio managements intend to suggest that the UTG continues the talks as soon as possible.
SES-2 was scheduled for launch today September 20 on board an Ariane 5 rocket. The new SES-2 satellite was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation and is intended to replace SES’s AMC-3 spacecraft at the orbital location of 87 degrees West.
The launch vehicle and its payload, the SES-2 and Arabsat 5C satellites, have been placed in stand-by mode and maintained in fully safe conditions.
A new launch date will be announced as soon as possible.