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MEASAT-3b and Optus 10, originally scheduled for launch June 6th, have moved one step closer to a targeted September lift-off with confirmation from launch service provider Arianespace that its next Ariane 5 mission has transferred from the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building – where it was assembled, to the Final Assembly Building – where the dual-passenger payload will be installed.
The postponement was called after Optus Networks informed Arianespace that its Optus 10 satellite, one of the two payloads being carried by Arianespace flight VA218, required additional verifications.
This latest procedure represented the heavy-lift launcher’s formal handover from industrial architect Airbus Defence and Space to Arianespace, which takes responsibility for incorporation of the two commercial telecommunications satellites, along with the Ariane 5’s final checkout and launch operations in French Guiana.
MEASAT-3b was produced by Airbus Defence and Space and is to be operated by MEASAT in supporting direct-to-home broadcast services for Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Australia. Optus 10 was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral for Australian telecommunications service provider Optus, enabling direct TV broadcast, Internet connectivity, telephone and data transmission services for Australia and New Zealand.