European Space operator Arianespace said Tuesday that the twice-delayed launch of Ariane 5 rocket ECA carrying two satellites from the Kourou complex in French Guiana was to be rescheduled for March 9.
The payload comprises two European telecommunication satellites: 3.7-tons Spainsat, first Spanish military satellite dedicated to secure government communication, and the 4.1-ton Hot Bird 7A, a TV and radio relay satellite for the European consortium Eutelsat.
The launch was delayed for the first time on Tuesday Feb. 21 after a problem was found with the gas that is used to keep the ground equipment cool before the launch.
The second launch was delayed on Friday Feb. 24 for verification on telemetering circuit at the request of the Alcatel Alenia Space, French-Italian consortium that built the Hot Bird 7A satellite.
The Hot Bird 7A satellite has the capacity of transmitting 850 television channels and 550 radio channels, covering a population of 110 millions from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
The delayed launch was to be the 26th flight of the 10-ton Ariane 5 rocket and its first flight in 2006.