Arianespace sure of Sept launch for Measat 3B [Business Times (Malaysia)]
(Business Times (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) SINGAPORE: ARIANESPACE is confident of launching the Measat 3B satellite in September this year.
Arianespace Singapore Pte Ltd managing director Richard Bowles said the company would find a copassenger for Measat Global Bhd's latest communication satellite.
"It (the delay) is costing us. (It's costing) our reputation, it's costing us in turnover... it's significant.
"So, we are trying to launch as soon as we can because this will also save costs for them (Measat)," he said.
The satellite launch had originally been scheduled for late last month, but was postponed when its Ariane 5 rocket co-passenger, Optus 10 was deemed as "needing more verification".
It was later reported that the Optus 10, built by Space Systems/ Loral of Palo Alto in California, would be returned to its production facility for repairs and further testing.
The launch of Measat 3B was postponed to this month, but was later further delayed till September.
But Arianespace is determined to launch Measat 3B and not just because of the damage the delay has caused to its reputation and turnover.
"Measat has been a very good customer, especially of late," said Bowles.
Arianespace and Measat have had a relatively long history.
Following Measat 3B, Arianespace will launch the Measat 3C satellite, developed in partnership with Australia's Newsat.
Measat and Arianespace also worked together in the launch of Africa's own satellite, Africasat, which leverages facilities at the Measat Teleport and Broadcast Centre to provide a complete range of satellite solutions to that continent, with connectivity to Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Measat 3B, costing about RM1.25 billion, was designed to serve more than 15 years.
It is based on the Eurostar E3000 bus platform manufactured by Airbus.
Co-located with Measat 3 and Measa 3A, the satellite is expected to significantly boost video and data services across Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Australia.
It will be kept in storage at the European Spaceport in French Guiana in South America till its launch.
On another matter, Bowles said satellite services would continue to be relevant, despite the competition from fibre optics.
"Where there are fibre optics, satellites aren't needed, except for backing-up and restoration. A lot of things can happen... earthquakes, tsunamis. These can cut undersea (and underground) fibre optic cables.
"In these cases, satellites are important for 'emergency relief' to get (communications) infrastructure back up," he added.
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