SpaceX shelves AsiaSat 6 lift-off

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net

AsiaSat's plans for its newest communications satellite have hit a speed-bump, with SpaceX postponing the planned launch until further notice.

The C-band AsiaSat 6 satellite is designed to provide video distribution and broadband network services in the Asia-Pacific region. It had been scheduled to lift off yesterday on the SpaceX Falcon 9.

But SpaceX announced it is delaying the launch following the dramatic failure of a test launch vehicle last week.

In the statement, SpaceX said it is confident that there is no direct link between the operational Falcon 9 and the issue that caused last week's failure, but has decided to triple-check all potential failure modes and contingencies - even highly-improbably fringe scenarios – before the launch.

The review process is expected to take one or two weeks, but the company has not yet set a new lift-off date.

AsiaSat currently has five satellites in orbit, with its latest - the AsiaSat 8 – launching earlier this month in a successful Falcon 9 take-off. The AsiaSat 9 is on order, and expected to be ready to launch by 2017.

The AsiaSat 6 was constructed by Space Systems/Loral.

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