TIBA-1 is unloaded from a chartered An-124 cargo jetliner at French Guiana’s Félix Eboué Airport. Flight VA250. TIBA-1 (Photo courtesy of Arianespace)
Head of the Egyptian Space Agency Mohamed El-Qousy said on Saturday Arianespace, a French satellite launch company, postponed the launch of Ariane 5, carrying the Egyptian satellite Tiba 1, due to an emergency malfunction in the power supply of ground equipment on the launching platform.
Arianespace was scheduled to launch the satellite at 23:08 CLT on Friday from a space centre in French Guiana, near Brazil.
"The fuel was unloaded from the launching rocket Ariane 5. The move is procedural," said El-Qousy.
The head of the Egyptian Space Agency said Egypt's first telecommunications satellite Tiba 1 is secured on safe mode inside the Ariane 5 rocket.
The new launch date, El-Qousy said, will be determined after factoring in the cause of the malfunction and the favourable weather conditions for the launch.
Tiba 1 will not be launched earlier than Sunday evening, El-Qousy added.
Tiba 1, planned to orbit for 15 years, will offer telecommunication services and broadband internet to individuals and companies in the country, as well as some North African states and Nile Basin countries.
In earlier statements, El-Qousy said Tiba 1 is set to be operational within three months of its launching day.
Ariane 5, according to NASA, is due to carry two telecommunications satellites Tiba 1 and Inmarsat 5 F5 (also known as GX5). Both satellites function as mobile telecommunications relay platforms that will be operated on behalf of the government of Egypt and Inmarsat, respectively.
Ariane 5 will be carrying a total payload mass of approximately 10,495 kilogrammes.
This mission (officially known as Ariane Flight VA250) will be the fourth Ariane 5 launch this year, and the eighth for Arianespace in 2019, NASA said.