According to officials at French aerospace company Arianespace, the launch of the Ariane V delivery system that will carry the European Space Agency's (ESA) third Meteosat Second Generation satellite (MSG-3) to orbit has been delayed.
Originally scheduled to take place on June 19, takeoff will not occur before July 5, the press release indicates. The delay was not caused by the ESA spacecraft, but by an accompanying spacecraft, the EchoStar 17 telecommunications satellites, which still needs to undergo a few checks.
“The launch of MSG-3 will secure continuity of observations from geostationary orbit 36,000 km from Earth. This service, currently provided by Meteosat-9 and the aging Meteosat-8, is vital to ensure the safety of lives, property and infrastructure,” ESA experts comment in a press release.
The role of MSG-3 is to ensure a smooth transition, as far as data fluxes go, from the Meteosat-8 spacecraft, a vehicle that has greatly exceeded its expected lifetime, and which could fail at any moment.