The first launch of a Russian Soyuz booster from Kourou, French Guiana has slipped from December 2006 into 2007 and will carry the Optus D2 communications satellite, not the originally planned payload for French space agency CNES. Arianespace will launch the D1 satellite for Australian telecommunications carrier Optus by Ariane 5 at the end of 2005, with Boeing Sea Launch as a back-up, while the Starsem Soyuz launch of Optus D2 will be backed up by an Ariane 5. Both 2.5t satellites are being built by Orbital Sciences.


Source: Flight International