Launch planned by Arianespace for 8th June 2016 was postponed and its present status is “to be decided”. Payload, two satellites: EchoStar-18 and BRIsat remain secured.
VA230 flight, fifth launch by Arianespace and third mission of Ariane 5 launch vehicle in 2016 was officially postponed today in the morning. New launch date was not unveiled, but Arianespace assured in their official press announcement that decision will be made as soon as possible. Launch was planned to be performed from Guiana Space Center with two satellites on atop: Echostar-18 and BRIsat.
According to Arianespace during last preparations of the Ariane-5, before planned for today roll out, anomaly was spotted in cryogenic upper stage. Problem refers to fluid connector placed between upper stage and the launch table. It was after last tests and with completed launch readiness. Rocket closed in Final Assembly Building was practically ready to roll out and delivering to ELA-3 launch site. Arianespace specialists will now put additional time and effort to replace part and repeat tests for verification if problem is not appearing again. It was not unveiled how long will take to finish all necessary actions.
BRIsat and Echostar-18 were built by Space System Loral for two different customers but with utilization of same satellite bus (SSL-1300). First one is Direct Broadcast Service (DBS) satellite providing signal for direct home reception and built for DISH Network L.L.C. It will cover with its range continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Cuba. It will replace Echostar-10 and remain on position 110° W for next 15 years of its operational life. Second was designed and manufactured for Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI). It is equipped with 9 Ku and 36 C band transponders to cover with its range: Indonesia, ASEAN, North East of Asia, part of Pacific area and West Australia. It will serve as communication satellite for banking services for 11000 branches of Bank Rachyat spread on Indonesian archipelago.