Launch provider Arianespace still does not know when it will fly its second Ariane 5 of the year. Delayed satellite deliveries mean that, following the successful Ariane 5ECA return to flight in February, the next mission is not expected until June.

The next planned flight, an Ariane 5GS carrying Indonesia's Telkom 2 and France's Syracuse 3A, has been delayed by late delivery of the Alcatel-built Syracuse military satellite. This has forced a rematch of payloads and a manifest reshuffle for the possible June mission.

The core stage of an Ariane 5G for the next scheduled flight is already on its mobile launch platform at Kourou, French Guiana, awaiting a yet-to-be-decided payload based on satellite availability. "There might be a change in the manifest," says Arianespace.

The company had planned to launch four more Ariane 5 missions this year. The schedule now has an ECA with Spaceway 2 and, possibly, Telkom 2; a GS with iPStar 1 as a firm payload; and two G models with a mix of Insat 4A, Meteosat MSG 2 and Panamsat 15. An alternative would be to fly MSG 2 with Spaceway 2 on the ECA, and to launch Telkom 2, Insat 4A and Panamsat 15 on two G versions.


Source: Flight International