Oct 282014

Astra 2G, the third and final new UK TV satellite is expected to launch from Baikonur on the 28th November 2014.

Astra 2G will replace the aging Astra 2A satellite, and will mean some reception changes for the affected Sky channels, for people in Spain and other areas of Europe.

This week the Astra 2G satellite was flown from France to Kazakhstan this week for pre-launch testing and fuelling.

However, the giant Russian Antonov aircraft carrying Astra 2G satellite to the Baikonur Cosmodrome was forced to make an emergency landing around 3am (GMT) October 28th at a remote airfield with a failed engine.

The aircraft engineers said the aircraft’s engine would be repaired and the flight resumed within a matter of hours.

The satellite, built by Airbus of France, is in a sealed, climate controlled, transportation container.

The owners of the aircraft, the Volga-Dnepr Group, say the valuable cargo was not damaged during the landing. However, sources at satellite owner SES suggest that the satellite has yet to be examined and expressed concern as to whether the inspection could take place at Baikonur, or whether the craft would have to be returned to Airbus for a full – and time-consuming – examination. This may delay the proposed launch on November 27th.


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Jul 182013

The July 2 crash of a Proton-M launch vehicle at the Baikonur Space Center occurred due to the fact that three angular rate sensors had been installed incorrectly while the rocket was being assembled, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said in a report.

“The space rocket’s failed launch was due to an error during installation of three yaw-axis angular rate sensors on the Proton-M rocket by the Khrunichev State Space Research and Production Center,” an interagency commission investigating the crash said in a report posted on the Roscosmos website on Thursday.

Control methods currently used during the rocket’s ground preparations and tests make it impossible to detect the incorrect installation of the sensors, the report said. “The error was committed during the production stage and became apparent during flight,” the document says.

The commission determined that the liftoff switch was activated 0.4 seconds before the rocket actually separated from the launch pad.

source: interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=431318

The crash of this rocket at Baikonur has caused a delay to future launches, including that of the new UK TV Astra 2 satellite, which was scheduled for launch on the 20th July, but whose launch is still to be rescheduled.

Video of Russian Rocket Crash at Baikonur on the 2nd July

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