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Anomaly defers INSAT-4B launch to tomorrow

The launch is now expected to take place in the early hours on Monday.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Bangalore
UPDATED ON MAR 11, 2007 02:21 PM IST

The launch of India's latest communication satellite INSAT-4B on board the Ariane-5 rocket from Kourou in French Guiana was halted after an operational anomaly was detected minutes before the lift-off early on Sunday.

The heavy-lift mission was put on hold by commercial launch service provider Arianespace seven minutes before the scheduled blast-off of the rocket with INSAT-4B and British Defence Ministry's Skynet-5A satellite.

The anomaly could not be resolved within the 33-minute launch window slated to open at 3.55 am, and the launch is now expected to take place in the early hours on Monday, according to Arianespace and the Indian Space Research Organisation.

Arianespace said the mission was postponed to validate the proper operation of the launchpad water deluge system at the spaceport's ELA-3 launch site.

"This deluge system provides a high-volume flow of water for launch pad acoustic damping during Ariane 5's engine ignition and liftoff," the European space consortium said.

The countdown was stopped to verify sensor readings concerning the deluge system's operational sequence. Ariane 5 and its dual-satellite payload were immediately placed in the safe mode.

Arianespace CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall said the launch is expected to be rescheduled for on Monday.

ISRO said, "The health of both satellites and the launch vehicle is normal and they have been put in safe mode."

Designed for a mission life of 12 years, the 3,025 kg INSAT-4B is equipped with 24 communication transponders to augment DTH services.

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