Intelsat S.A., the world’s leading provider of fixed satellite services, announced today that the launch of the Intelsat New Dawn spacecraft aboard an Ariane 5 rocket, initially scheduled for launch on March 30, 2011, was scrubbed after the launch sequence was shut down automatically. The spacecraft is secure. Arianespace is going to review the data and make another launch attempt at a later date.
Preparations on Track for March 30 Lift-Off of First African Private Sector Communications Satellite
Final preparations for the historic Intelsat New Dawn satellite launch are on track. On Wednesday, March 30, the satellite, loaded in an Ariane 5 rocket, is expected to be rolled from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone. It will be readied for lift-off that day during a launch window that opens at 6:45 p.m. local time in French Guiana (11:45 p.m. in South Africa), and continues to 7:52 p.m. (12:52 a.m. in South Africa). The project has also received a symbolic ‘boost’ from the image of Nelson Mandela’s signature, which is featured on the rocket’s fairing.
The New Dawn project was created through a unique joint venture between Intelsat and a South African investor group led by Convergence Partners, which also includes Altirah Telecoms and the not-for-profit Convergence Partners Foundation. The project was funded though a combination of equity from Intelsat and the Convergence Partners Consortium, and debt funding via an innovative structure that has maximized African participation in the project. Debt providers comprise Nedbank, the Industrial Development Corporation and the African Development Bank.