By Andy Sambidge
Abu Dhabi firm says Kazakhstan launch of Y1B postponed; working to minimise impact
Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) said on Sunday its planned launch of a satellite from Kazakhstan had been delayed.
The scheduled February launch of its Y1B satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan has been postponed until April "due to reasons beyond its control", Yahsat said in a statement.
The delay to the Y1B has been the direct result of two failed launch attempts of the SES-4 satellite, which was originally due to launch in December, it added.
Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, Yahsat CEO, said: "The delay is unfortunate but it is well-known that launch delays, and the domino effect they often have on the subsequent launches, is a risk that the satellite industry must face.
"However, we are actively working with our partners to minimise the impact of the delay by using this time to optimise our planned post launch testing for the Y1B satellite and associated services.
"We are also working with our partners to minimize the delay in our commercial roll-out and are looking at ways we can begin these as early as possible," he added.
Yahsat's Y1B satellite will be launched into space by a Proton-M launch vehicle with a Briz-M booster.
One of the core functions of Y1B will be to provide broadband satellite communication, internet and corporate data transfer services across the Middle East, Africa, and South West Asia.
The Y1B satellite will form the second stage of Yahsat's development of a fully integrated satellite communications system, which will include the Y1A satellite, which was successfully launched in April 2011 from the European Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana.