The launch of India's latest telecommunications satellite INSAT-4B by European Ariane 5
rocket from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana was deferred by a day to tomorrow
after an anomaly in the launch-pad was detected during the countdown for the lift-off.
The anomaly relating to 'water deluge system' that is intended to reduce the acoustics
level for the safety of the launch-pad prompted the commercial launch services provider
Arianespace to put the countdown on 'temporary hold' seven minutes before the launch
window was to open, officials of the Indian Space Research Organisation said.
"Both the spacecraft INSAT-4B and its co-passenger Skynet 5A of EADS Astrium are in a safe
mode. We are going to work and make a new attempt tomorrow", an Arianespace official
said at the mission control centre.
The launch window was scheduled between 3.55 am and 4.28 am today.
The final countdown for the liftoff of Ariane 5 with INSAT-4B and Skynet 5A, the military
communication satellite for the British ministry of defence, on board began yesterday.
In its first launch of the year, the Ariane launcher was to put into orbit the 3,025 kg
INSAT-4B, meant to boost Direct to Home TV services and augment the INSAT capacity, and
the 4,700 kg Skynet 5A built by Astrium on behalf of Paradigm which provides services to
the British ministry of defence.
INSAT-4B, which carries 12 high power Ku band and 12 C-band transponders, is the 13th ISRO
satellite to use the European launcher since India's first experimental satellite Apple
The go-ahead for the lift-off of Ariane 5 was given on Friday.