Ariane delays Astra 1N

Arianespace has delayed the launch of Astra 1N and Japan’s BSAT-3c, for about 20 days.  The launch should have taken place late on Friday evening. An anomaly was discovered when a valve on the rocket’s main cryogenic stage failed to work properly.

However, to swap the valve out the complete rocket assembly, plus its two satellites, needs to be rolled back into Ariane’s giant Final Assembly Building.

“The valve’s replacement and the ensuing operations should require approximately 20 days,” said Arianespace, and a new launch date announced shortly.

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