Indian Navigation Augmentation Satellite GAGAN Delays Launch by One Day

[UPDATED MAY 16] India’s GPS-Aided and GEO-Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) spacecraft will be carried into orbit on an Ariane-5 launcher from the European Space Agency (ESA) spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on May 21, 2011, according to an announcement from ISRO, the Indian space agency.

[UPDATED MAY 16] India’s GPS-Aided and GEO-Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) spacecraft will be carried into orbit on an Ariane-5 launcher from the European Space Agency (ESA) spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on May 21, 2011, according to an announcement from ISRO, the Indian space agency.
"This postponement is due to certain additional inspection that has been
taken up by the launch agency, viz., ARIANESPACE," ISRO said in a May 16 press release.

The launch date has inched forward over the past months: from May 19 to May 20 and now one day later. 

GAGAN is part of the payload of ISRO’s GSAT-8 (INSAT-4C) a dual purpose communication satellite that carries 18 Ku-band transponders for telecommunications as well.

On March 29, the Indian government approved a one-time grant of approximately $85.5 million (Rs 378 crore) for the implementation of GAGAN.

May 20 will be the first time India tries to get GAGAN into orbit since the disappearance of India’s first GAGAN spacecraft into the Bay of Bengal on April 15, 2010 along with its ill-fated GSLV-D3 launch vehicle.

Arianespace announced that Ariane 5 flights will now carry the “VA” designation, followed by the flight number.  The “V” is for “vol,” the French word for “flight” and the “A” stands for Ariane launch vehicle.  The May 19 mission will be referred to as “VA202." It will be the 202nd launch of an Ariane since these workhorse vehicles appeared in 1979.

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