The launch of two telecommunications satellites in TIBA-1 and Inmarsat GX5 on an Ariane 5 rocket was scrubbed on Friday with less than 20 minutes to launch for technical issues. Another attempt will take place on Saturday.
This mission (officially known as Ariane Flight VA250) will be the fourth Ariane 5 launch of the year, and the eighth launch for Arianespace as a whole in 2019, according to Nasa Space Flight.
“Arianespace has decided to stop the final operation for two days,” Stephane Israel, chief executive officer of Arianespace said in a statement late on Friday. “The spacecrafts are in safe mode and we are now targeting a new launch window tomorrow and we will keep you posted for sure,” he added.
The two satellites that will launch on Friday’s mission – TIBA-1 and Inmarsat 5 F5 (also known as GX5) – both function as mobile telecommunications relay platforms that will be operated on behalf of the government of Egypt and Inmarsat, respectively.
TIBA-1 – which is based on the Eurostar 3000 satellite platform and was developed by Thales Alenia Space & Airbus Defence and Space – occupies the larger upper portion of the Ariane 5 payload fairing, and will be released first during the launch.
TIBA-1 was designed with a lifetime of over 15 years on orbit. The satellite will be the 4th such spacecraft launched by Arianespace for Egypt, the 127th Airbus satellite launched by Arianespace, and the 160th launch by the company for Thales Alenia Space, Nasa added.