GSAT-10 to be launched on Sept 29

Bangalore: India’s communication satellite GSAT-10, slated to be launched early today, will now be launched on September 29 following a technical problem on board Ariane 5 launcher from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana.

The spacecraft was originally slated to be launched early today, along with ASTRA 2F, but the lift-off was postponed a week ago following a snag in the Ariane 5 rocket of the European space consortium, Arianespace, a commercial launch services provider, according to sources in Indian Space Research Organisation here.

The spacecraft will now be launched on September 29 at 2.48 AM, they said. ASTRA 2F spacecraft was built by the Astrium division of EADS for Luxembourg-based SES.

On September 15, Arianespace found a “small snag” (“small damage”) (leakage) on the upper side of the Ariane rocket and and it carried out additional checks to see if one gram of dust particles that was not accounted for, has stuck to critical moving parts.

“One gram of dust particles could have probably gone inside (the rocket). So, the idea is to find out whether it’s sticking to a critical moving part”, Radhakrishnan told reporters on Monday.

GSAT-10 is a Rs 750 crore mission for ISRO, including satellite, launch services and insurance, officials said.