Feeds

Skynet 5B still on ground after Arianespace snags

'System has been delivered on time'

Security for virtualized datacentres

The UK armed forces' Skynet 5B military communications satellite, which was due to be launched on Friday night, has suffered a second delay over the weekend and remains on the ground in French Guiana. A revised launch date and time are not yet available.

Skynet 5B was to join the 5A spacecraft launched earlier this year, completing the British forces' satellite coverage of nearly two-thirds of the world. There will also be an on-orbit spare, Skynet 5C, but the system will be fully operational once the second satellite is up.

The original launch was delayed by an electronics problem in the Ariane 5 rocket aboard which the satellite is to travel into space (along with a Brazilian telecoms bird). Now a second hitch has arisen, related to pipework in the launch pad.

The Skynet programme is notable for being privately funded. Paradigm, its operator, expects to recoup its initial outlay by charging the Ministry of Defence for bandwidth. It believes this is a feasible business strategy despite the strain on MoD budgets because of additional Treasury "conflict resolution" funds which are made available when the UK is engaged in wars.

Paradigm believes, probably correctly, that Britain will be at war in Afghanistan (and to some degree elsewhere) for years, and thus the MoD will have both the need for satellite bandwidth and extra money to pay for it. In any case, Skynet bandwidth can also be sold to other customers.

"Skynet's been delivered on time and on budget," Paradigm chief Malcolm Peto told the Beeb.

Apart from this little ongoing delay from Arianespace. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight
Will Vulture 2 freeze at altitude? Edge Research Lab to find out
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.