Arianespace scraps satellite launch due to electrical equipment problem


Arianespace has aborted the launch of two satellites seconds before lift-off after detecting an anomaly that affected the electrical equipment on one of the two solid-propellant boosters of its Ariane 5 rocket.

The rocket had been scheduled to carry the Intelsat 37e and BSAT-4a satellites into space from French Guiana.

Arianespace began an analysis right after the countdown interruption. The company had also switched both the payload satellites to safe mode.

The Ariane 5 rocket is also expected to be transferred to the final assembly building (BAF) at the spaceport in French Guiana to make the launcher ready for a subsequent flight.

“This interruption is perfectly compliant with our procedures, which authorise a launch only if 100% of launcher equipment is fully operational.”

Releasing the results of the preliminary analysis, Arianespace said in a statement: “Just after the ignition of Ariane 5’s main stage Vulcain engine, the onboard computer detected an anomaly affecting electrical equipment on one of the two solid-propellant boosters (EAP).

“This anomaly led to an interruption of the automated lift-off sequence.

“This interruption is perfectly compliant with our procedures, which authorise a launch only if 100% of launcher equipment is fully operational.”

Arianespace also noted that it would carry out further investigation to know the cause of the anomaly and determine the measures required to resume launch operations.

Once the investigation completed, the company expects to launch the two satellites by the end of this month.