The delayed launch of the Astra 3B satellite will not take place before mid-May, according to the latest report from French Guyana.
Launch team members have removed the component that caused the launch postponement – a pressure regulator for the Ariane 5 launcher’s main stage – which has been sent to Europe for inspection by a task force. This comprehensive task force team involves representatives from Astra, Arianespace, ESA, CNES, EADS Astrium, and associated technical partners. In parallel, a quality audit has been created to analyze the underlying reasons for the technical difficulty, and to propose corrective measures.
The Ariane 5 and its dual-passenger payload of the Astra 3B and ComSatBw-2 satellites are in a safe condition in the Final Assembly Building, where both the launcher and satellites are being monitored in their standby mode.
“Arianespace remains committed to the highest levels of launch vehicle quality for our customers, who have come to expect this from us,” explained Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall, in a statement. “Our focus now is on resolving the anomaly that postponed Flight 194, as well as ensuring that the ‘lessons learned’ are taken into account.”