The launch of India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-16 in the early hours tomorrow by Arianespace rocket from Kourou in French Guiana was deferred due to inclement weather at the launch base, ISRO announced tonight.
GSAT-16, designed to augment the national space capacity in communication services, was scheduled to be launched at 02.08 am on Friday (IST) on board Ariane 5 VA221 rocket.
In the dual satellite mission, along with GSAT-16, DIRECTV-14, which was built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for operator DIRECTV to provide direct-to-home television broadcasts across the US, was also scheduled to be launched.
“Due to inclement weather at the launch base in Kourou, French Guiana - the launch of GSAT-16 satellite onboard Ariane 5 VA221 is postponed. We’ll keep you posted,” ISRO said on its Facebook page.
A senior ISRO official said “we are waiting for communication from Kourou regarding the launch schedule.”
Arianespace in a release said “In keeping with the CNES/CSG safety regulations, the launch of Arianespace Flight 221 has been postponed due to unfavourable weather conditions over the launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana. Flight 221 will place into geostationary transfer orbit the DIRECTV-14 and GSAT-16 telecommunications satellites.”
“Another launch date will be decided depending on the evolution of the weather conditions in Kourou,” it added.