Tim Furniss/LONDON

The launch of at least two Hughes Space and Communications HS-601-based satellites have been delayed following control processor failures aboard the similar DBS1 and Galaxy 4 and 7 spacecraft in geostationary orbit from May to July (Flight International, 22-28 July).

The JC-SAT 6, scheduled for launch on 29 July from Cape Canaveral aboard a Lockheed Martin Atlas 2A, has been pushed to later in August, as investigations into the problems continue, while the inaugural launch of the Boeing-led Sea Launch project ,carrying the Galaxy XI, will be pushed from late this year to early in 1999.

The Galaxy X satellite, now scheduled for launch on the first Delta III booster on 24 August, following launcher problems, could also be delayed further while Hughes continues investigations.

The satellite control processor activates the attitude control system thrusters and the pointing of the satellites' solar panels.The failures may have been caused by solar activity, short circuits or another event, says Hughes.The US company is building 26 other HS-601 craft, including the ICO F1 which is nearing completion for the inaugural Atlas 2AS launch in December. Not all HS-601s are equipped with the suspect electronics.

Source: Flight International