Indonesia’s Satria-1 suffers further delays
January 6, 2023
Indonesia’s important 150 Gb/s broadband satellite, Satria-1, is already late in being delivered from its manufacturers with delays caused by component shortages from Covid-related problems. The craft was due for launch in March 2022, then March 2023 which will be missed. Now, Indonesia is asking the ITU in Geneva to permit a delay of its ‘bringing into use’ rules until March 2024.
The satellite is a public-private joint-venture craft between the government of Indonesia and its broadband agency and PT Pasifik Satelite Nusantara (PSN) which is the nation’s first private satellite operator.
While Satria-1 is under construction at Thales Alenia Space, there is a ‘back-up’ craft being built by Boeing called Nusantara Lima HBS, and there’s a distinct possibility that the back-up satellite could end up being launched before the Satria-1. Nusantara Lima HBS is due for launch before the end of 2023.
PSN was formed in 1991 and was the first satellite-based telecommunications company in Indonesia. In 1995, a collaboration started what was to become ACES (Asia Cellular Satellite system). In 1998, a WAN-based service for corporate customers was introduced. In 1996, it became the first Indonesian company to be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
According to reports, Thales Alenia is supporting Indonesia’s request to the ITU for more time. One problem is the absence of the giant Antonov 124 aircraft to transport the finished satellite from France to its launch site. A maritime transfer takes about a month.
However, the satellite is being built with all-electric propulsion and will take around 5 months to raise itself to its designated orbit following launch, and this doesn’t help in meeting the ITU’s ‘bringing into use’ regulations and hence the request for a 2024 extension.
SpaceX is contracted to launch Satria-1.