Snag delays Insat-4B lift-off
Mar 11, 2007 - 3:21:19 PM
Bangalore, March 11 - The much-awaited launch early Sunday of India's latest indigenously built communications satellite Insat-4B has been postponed by 24 hours due to a technical snag in the launch pad of the Ariane-5 at Kourou in French Guyana.
Arianespace CEO Jean Yves Le Gall said in a statement that the launch had been rescheduled to early Monday Indian time.
'Ariane-5 heavy lift-off mission has been postponed to validate the proper operation of the launch pad water deluge system at Spaceport ELA-3 launch site.
'The deluge system provides a high-volume flow of water for launch pad acoustic damping during Ariane-5's engine ignition and lift-off,' Gall said in the statement posted on the official web site of Arianespace.com.
The T-minus 10 countdown was stopped before the scheduled 19.25 - lift-off to verify sensor readings concerning the water deluge system's operational sequence.
The launch vehicle - and its dual-satellite payload of Insat-4B and Skynet-5A were immediately placed in the safe mode.
Meanwhile, the Indian Space Research Organisation -, which has built the 3025 kg Insat-4B, said the anomaly - detected by the computerised mission control system seven minutes before the lift-off - could not be resolved within the launch window period kept open between 3.55 a.m. and 4.28 a.m. IST.
'The snag was in the launch site of the Europe's spaceport ELA-3. The launch vehicle and the two satellites are safe and intact,' a top space agency official told IANS here.
Since the final countdown began late Saturday -, the launch mission was on schedule till the T-minus 10 countdown started. After three minutes, a red light flashed detecting the snag, which resulted in stopping the launch seven minutes before the lift-off.
As the second satellite in the Insat-4 series, Insat-4B is carrying 12 high power Ku-band - transponders and 12 C-band - transponders to augment the capacity for Direct-To-Home - television services and expanding the Insat capacity for other communication and broadcasting services.
Incidentally, Insat-4b is the 13th Indian satellite to use the European launcher for deployment in the geo-synchronous orbit.
The over three-tonne-Insat-4B was built at the ISRO satellite centre in Bangalore at a cost of Rs.2.15 billion. The launch cost is estimated to be Rs.2.25 billion. It has also been insured for Rs.600 million.
The Indian satellite would piggy ride on the 4.7-tonne Skynet-5A military communication satellite, built by EADS-Astrium, for the British ministry of defence.
Skynet will offer secured communication services for the British armed forces, NATO and other European countries.
All rights reserved by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited ( www.rxpgnews.com )