International Launch Services, the commercial arm of the Russian Proton rocket launch system, has delayed the launch of Eutelsat’s latest craft, E-5 West. The delay also represents a delay for Eutelsat’s co-launch passenger, MEV-1.
The dual payload launch was due for lift-off on September 30th, but is now delayed while a possible electrical issue is resolved.
The issue is being investigated by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, ILS said in a press release. Khrunichev and ILS will re-establish a new launch date once the issue was resolved.
Eutelsat’s partner on the Kazakhstan launch is Northrop Grumman’s Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1), a so-called ‘space tug’ which is designed to launch to geostationary orbit and to attach itself to Intelsat’s 901 satellite.
I-91 was launched in 2001 and is reportedly fully operational but low on fuel. MEV-1 should give the satellite an extra 5 years of lucrative working life. MEV-1 is capable of then detaching itself and moving itself to another rescue mission.