Due to the inclement weather, the launch of Indian communication satellite G-SAT 16 from French Guiana atop the European Ariane rocket has been postponed, said an Indian space agency official. It coincides with similar postponement of Orion space craft by NASA on Thursday, though on technical grounds.
According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official, the launch of the G-SAT 16 scheduled for Friday at 2.08 p.m. (Indian Standard Time) from Kourou, French Guiana, was postponed due to bad weather.
The ISRO did not announce a new launch date. As per reports, a senior ISRO official said “we are waiting for communication from Kourou regarding the launch schedule.”
Meanwhile, a release by Arianespace stated, “Another launch date will be decided depending on the evolution of the weather conditions in Kourou.”
Weighing 3,181.6 kg G-SAT 16 with a life of around 12 years, carries 48 transponders-automatic receivers and transmitters for communication and broadcast of signals. G-SAT 16 with a designated on orbit operational life of 12 years will be the 18th satellite to be launched by Arianespace for ISRO.
India uses Ariane rockets to put its heavy communication satellites in geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) as it does not have a rocket to carry a three-ton satellite.
ISRO is developing one such rocket called the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III. (IANS)