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Anomaly delays Astra 1N launch

The launch of SES Astra’s 1N satellite has been postponed until late July following a pre-launch anomaly.

The satellite operator said the problem occurred during the final launch countdown from Kourou, French Guiana, on Friday. Launch company Arianespace has decided to replace the valve of the main cryogenic stage, which SES said did not function nominally. In order to carry out this operation, the Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle has been rolled back into the Final Assembly Building. The valve’s replacement should take approximately 20 days.

Astra 1N is intended to provide interim replacement capacity at the orbital location of 28.2° East. The satellite will subsequently be moved to 19.2° East, from where it will mainly serve the German, French and Spanish markets.