India’s biggest satellite would not launch in late May as planned. The satellite, GSAT 11 will undergo additional checks at its manufacturing plant in Bangalore, India. Officials revealed that they have to conduct other checks following an incident with India’s Satellite, GSAT 6A.
India lost communication with GSAT 6A a few days after it launched. The satellite was transported to space in an Indian launch vehicle. The launch happened on March 29 from the Sriharikota space base. Although Indian officials are not conclusively sure about the cause of the loss of contact with GSAT 6A, they believe it is a power failure problem.
GSAT 11 weighs 13,000 Pounds, and it is expected to improve broadband connectivity across India and neighboring countries. The postponement of the launching of GSAT 11 also means a delay in the launch of Arianespace satellite Azerspace 2. The Azerspace 2 also called Intelsat 38 is the co-passenger of GSAT 11, and the launch was scheduled for May 25.
The satellites would have launched aboard the Ariane 5. In a statement, Arianespace revealed that they would announce a new launch date for the Azerspace 2/ Intelsat 38, and the satellite would launch with a new co-passenger. The Ariane 5 usually launches two satellite in one mission since it can do so.
SSL, a space firm in Palo Alto, California built the Azerspace 2/ Intelsat 38 for Azercosmos and Intelsat. Azercosmos which is the national satellite operator of Azerbaijan and Intelsat have a joint project that required the satellite. The satellite will remain in Palo Alto until all is set for the launch.
The Azerspace 2/ Intelsat 38 is likely to be the 100th flight of the Ariane 5 rocket. Earlier, the 100th flight was scheduled for the Galileo mission in July.
Azerspace 2/ Intelsat 38 satellite is likely to be paired with Hellas-Sat 4/ SaudiGeoSat 1, a communication satellite built by Lockheed Martin for Arabsat.
Arianespace revealed that even though the launch of GSAT 11 would delay, there would be no significant disruptions to their launch schedule.
Officials insist that there are no problems with the GSAT 11, and they are just running additional tests on the satellite. They also revealed that they were planning to run the checks and make the satellite ready for launch by late June, but that is not going to be possible.
Officials will announce a new launch date when all the checks are completed.