After two delays, the French launching company Arianespace has set April 9 the launch date for its first liftoff this year, which will shoot two communication satellites into space, according to a news release on Wednesday.
"Arianespace's upcoming dual payload flight has been rescheduled to the evening of Friday, April 9 following additional checks performed on the launch vehicle at Europe's Spaceport," the launching center said.
With Luxembourg's ASTRA 3B and Germany's COMSATBw-2 on board, the heavy-lift Ariane 5 will be transferred Thursday from the Final Assembly Building to the specified launch complex.
The final countdown will begin on the day with the start of a 49-minute launch window "that opens at 6:59 p.m. local time in French Guiana (0959 GMT)," the Arianespaced added.
The Astra 3B, built by Astrim company, will provide television broadcast service to Luxembourg commercial telecommunication operator SES ASTRA, while COMSATBw-2 will serve German armed forces by guaranteeing uninterrupted communication between governments, military authorities and troops deployed around the world.
Ariane 5, the company's biggest launcher, was expected to blast off on March 24 from its Kourou launch site, in French Guiana, but due to certain technical issues the Arianespace's first shoot in 2010 has already been postponed twice.