Satellite operator SES said that the upcoming launch of its giant Astra 2G satellite had slipped somewhat. It had been expected to launch in June. The eyes of the industry have been on the plan because the satellite had been rumoured to be the subject of USA sanctions against Russia following on from the Ukrainian political upheaval.
SES’s CEO Karim Michael Sabbagh stated that the satellite – built by Airbus’s Astrium subsidiary, but with many US-manufactured components – was not affected by the US sanctions. Sabbagh added that launch contractor, International Launch Services, held all the required paperwork to proceed with a launch.
However, the launch date will slip, from June to a date between July and September. The cause was not international relations but down to a queue of Russian and commercial launches.