Arianespace triple launch delayed
July 28, 2020
By Chris Forrester
Arianespace was due to launch three satellites today, July 28th. The launch has been postponed.
Arianespace, in a statement, said that it was conducting additional technical checks within the fairing of its Ariane 5 rocket. They stress that the 3 satellite payloads are in stable and safe conditions.
Sources suggest that the first practical date for a rescheduled launch is July 31st, although this has yet to be confirmed.
If a July 31st launch does take place the timing is likely to be 18.30 (French Guiana time), 17.30 (Washington time) and 21.30 UTC.
The cargo manifest comprises 3 satellites: Japan’s BSAT-4b craft built by Maxar Technologies along with the Galaxy 30 satellite for Intelsat which will boost capacity for UHD television. The third craft is commonly called a ‘Space Tug’ but is correctly known as a Mission Extension Vehicle and is the second MEV to be orbited. Northrop Grumman built the Intelsat satellites as well as MEV-2.
BSAT-4b will considerably add to transmission capacity over Japan for 8K Ultra HD as well as 4K broadcasts. The satellite was originally planned to be in orbit to serve the Olympic Games, now delayed.
The ‘Rescue Tug’ will eventually orbit and link up with Intelsat 10-02 which operates at 1 degree West. Intelsat 10-02 was launched in 2004 and has worked extremely well. But MEV-2 is planned to extend the life of the satellite by 5 more years.