The launch of Intelsat’s New Dawn satellite has been rescheduled to Friday, April 22, after the original launch on March 30 was aborted.
Intelsat says the satellite, loaded on an Ariane 5 rocket, will be launched from the spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 5.37 pm Eastern Daylight Time.
It adds that the launch was delayed when an “abnormal launch vehicle parameter” was detected during the automated checkout procedure, after start up of the Ariane 5’s cryogenic main engine.
“The launcher is currently in the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building, being prepared for its mission.”
New Dawn is the first African private sector communications satellite.
Operating from a geostationary orbital slot at 32.8º east, it will serve Africa through a payload optimised to deliver new capacity for wireless backhaul, fixed-line and wireless infrastructure, broadband and media, according to Intelsat.
“The satellite’s 28 C-band and 24 Ku-band 36MHz transponder units are designed specifically to supply critical communications infrastructure for African customers who have experienced exceptional growth along with the development of the region.”
Jon Osler, MD of Africa sales at Intelsat, says the life expectancy of the satellite is 17 years.
New Dawn is a joint venture between Intelsat and a South African investor group, led by Convergence Partners, with debt funding from leading African banking institutions such as Nedbank.