The evolution of the situation does not permit the restart of operations for the Ariane 5 launch scheduled for today, Thursday, March 23, Arianespace has decided to postpone the launch.
The launch vehicle, with its SGDC and KOREASAT-7 satellite payloads, remain in a stand-by mode and are being maintained in fully safe conditions.
Arianespace Flight VA236 – which is scheduled to launch SGDC for Telebras S.A., performed within the framework of a contract with SGDC prime contractor VISIONA Tecnologia Espacial S.A.; and KOREASAT-7 for ktsat.
Arianespace still shut down at Devil’s Island
The French government has reportedly promised French Guiana a special payment of $4 billion if the region’s strikers end their protest actions. The national strike has closed down all activity at the French-owned spaceport at Kourou and the former prison of Devil’s Island.
Two French minsters of state flew to Cayenne last week with the promise of extra cash, well over the normal budget spend of some €430 million over the five-year budget period.
Matthias Fekl, a minister of the interior, and Ericka Bareigts, the minister for overseas territories, proposed a “pact” whereby the proposed €4 billion would be spent over the course of the next 10 years. Current spending in French Guiana (per head of population) is 44 per cent less than in mainland France, while the cost of living is 12 per cent higher.
Last week, more than 10,000 protesters marched in Cayenne to protest over the poor quality of life in the French department. Schools were closed, flights from the international airport and rocket launches from the European spaceport remain cancelled, and movement in the territory was halted by regular roadblocks.
Few doubt that more needs to be done. The population of some 250,000 suffers a very high unemployment rate (40 per cent of Guianese between the age of 15 and 24 are unemployed, and more than a quarter of them have difficulties in reading and writing, compared to 4 per cent in European France).
And during this civil unrest the Ariane launch routine has been badly damaged. Two satellites (for Brazil and Korea) are sitting atop an Ariane rocket, patiently awaiting a clearance to launch. Their two-week delay has a knock-on effect for equally patient Eutelsat and SES satellites.
Quelle: ADVANCED TELEVISION
No end in sight for French spaceport strike
The widespread labour strike in French Guiana shows no sign of ending. The action has forced rocket company Arianespace to suspend all work at the spaceport. The strike started on March 20th and now is more or less total with numerous road-blocks affecting all trade in the French colony.
Some 37 labour unions are supporting the strike which went widespread on March27, and with the unions demanding supporting payments from the French Government of €3 billion to aid the local struggling economy.
French Guiana was once ‘Devil’s Island’ and used as a penal colony for some 100 years.
The strikes mean that Arianespace’s launch routines are now severely impacted. Two satellites are currently in storage at the Kourou facility while satellites for Eutelsat, SES and ViaSat are having their launch expectations delayed.
An emergency transfer of €1 billion is reported to have been approved by the French government and this move helped the strikers occupying the main suite of administrative offices at the spaceport to disperse. But the protestors want far more, including new hospitals, better education facilities and health care.
Quelle: ADVANCED TELEVISION
Flight VA236 preparations mark the restart of Spaceport launch operations
The Spaceport in French Guiana has resumed its pace for Arianespace’s busy 2017 mission manifest, with operations recommencing for the three subsequent launches – using two Ariane 5s and one Soyuz.
Next up is Flight VA236, set for May 4, to loft two spacecraft: SGDC for VISIONA Tecnologia Espacial S.A. on behalf of the Brazilian operator Telebras S.A., and KOREASAT-7 for South Korean operator ktsat.
SGDC has a liftoff mass estimated at 5,735 kg. and is the mission’s upper passenger. Riding in the lower passenger position is KOREASAT-7, with a mass at liftoff of approximately 3,680 kg.
A pair of Thales Alenia Space-built satellites on Flight VA236
For this fourth Arianespace mission of 2017, both payloads are based on Thales Alenia Space’s Spacebus series of satellite platforms.
Once operation at an orbital position of 75 deg. West with Ka- and X-band transponders, the dual-use SGDC will provide sovereign and secure means for Brazilian government and defense strategic communications, as well as high-quality Internet services to all of the Brazilian territory as part of the National Broadband Plan.
KOREASAT-7 is to be positioned at 116 deg. East, providing a full range of video and data applications – including Internet access, direct-to-home broadcasting (DTH), government communications and connectivity for VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) networks. Its coverage area encompasses Korea, the Philippines, the Indochinese Peninsula, India and Indonesia.
Visiona Tecnologia Espacial Brasil