Launch of country’s communications satellite – GSAT-10 – has been delayed by a week due to a snag in European space consortium’s Ariane-5 space launch vehicle. Addressing reporters, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr K. Radhakrishnan said, “While reviewing the Ariane-5 launch preparation at Kourou in French Guiana, by the consortium officials, they have detected a hole in one of the hose connecting the spaceport and launch vehicle.” “It is suspected dust might have entered launch vehicle through the small hole. The officials are conducting a detail assessment of the damage,” he added. The three days of mandatory checks are being carried out from today and by September 19, a clear date for the launch will be known. GSAT-10 launch is now scheduled for September 29 subject to all clearances, he said. ISRO officials say one gram of dust is enough to disable the communications satellite’s sensors or any parts in carrying outs its duties. GSAT-10 weighs 3,400-kg and is the country’s advanced communication satellite inducted into INSAT system. The satellite is configured to carry a total 30 communication transponders in C-band, lower extended C-band and Ku-band.

(This article was published on September 17, 2012)
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