On March 30th an Indian satellite, GSAT-11, arrived at the French Guiana spaceport to be prepared for launch later in May. The satellite is now on its way back to India for examination.
No official reason has been given, but there is speculation locally that India’s Space Research Organisation – which built the craft – is that either the satellite has some sort of glitch, or else the satellite needs adaption or modification in order to remedy problems that occurred with its ‘sister’ craft, GSAT-6A, which suffered post-launch problems on March 29th, and is now considered lost.
The cancelled – or postponed – launch means that Arianespace now has to find a replacement satellite to share the May 25th launch which would have also carried Intelsat-38. The likelihood is that Intelsat-38 will be launch around August-time, provided Arianespace can come up with a new co-passenger.
GSAT-11 would have been India’s largest-ever satellite, weighing 5,870 kgs.