London-based speciality satellite operator Avanti Communications should see their much-delayed Hylas 4 craft launched by Arianespace from their spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana on April 5th.
Hylas 4 will be a co-passenger with Japan’s Superbird-8 satellite, which has been the cause of the delay. The Japanese satellite was damaged back in June 2016 while in its specially-built container and en-route to the launch site. At the time Japan’s JSAT said that the transport container had been “deformed”. The satellite was returned to Japan for examination and repair by the craft’s builder, NEC Corp.
Avanti’s Hylas 4 satellite has been patiently waiting for its co-passenger to be readied for launch. Construction of the satellite started in 2015 by Orbital ATK.
Ariane 5 was cleared for rollout on April 4 from the Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone. Lift-off will occur during a 50-minute launch window that opens at 6:34 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
Hylas 4 is much needed by Avanti, which has been struggling under severe cash burn and a lack of revenue. Their new satellite will serve Africa and Europe with Ka-band capacity from its mid-Atlantic position at 33.4 degrees West.