Satellites

AsiaSat 4 launch rescheduled to end 2002

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Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) has announced that its fourth satellite, AsiaSat 4 satellite will not launch this month, as scheduled earlier, due to manufacturing delays at Boeing.

The decison, says the company, was taken following meetings with satellite manufacturer Boeing Satellite Systems. Asiasat 4 was earlier supposed to launch in May 2002 by the Atlas IIIB rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. Boeing has reportedly decided to conduct additional tests on AsiaSat 4 and other spacecraft to ensure the quality and reliability of its product line.

The delivery of AsiaSat 4, a Boeing 601HP, is now expected to be delayed by at least four months, putting the new delivery date as sometime in September 2002. However, Asiasat CEO Peter Jackson has been quoted as saying that given the other scheduled launches in 2002, it might be difficult to find a launch slot before the end of the year.

The company is in talks with International Launch Services (ILS), the launch services provider to determine a new launch date for AsiaSat 4. A new date will be determined in the next couple of months, the company says. The spacecraft will be located at the 122 degrees East orbital position, providing region-wide C-band coverage over Asia and focused Ku-band beams for East Asia and Australia. The satellite will carry 28 C-band and 20 Ku-band transponders including the four BSS (Broadcast Satellite Service) transponders to be used for Hong Kong's DTH (Direct-to-Home) services.

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