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September 13, 1990

SPAIN GETS JUMPY ABOUT PROSPECTS FOR TIMELY LAUNCH OF ITS HISPASAT

By CBR Staff Writer

Despite optimistic statements from top men in the Arianespace consortium following the failure of the Ariane Flight 37 space rocket last February, the company’s president, Frederic D’Allest, is now reluctant to confirm that Spain’s Hispasat satellite will be launched on time even after the successful launching of Flight 37. The satellite is due to be launched during the last four months of 1992, and Ariane was hoping to counteract the five months delay caused by the Flight 37 accident, but now the company has divulged a new programme which includes two months’ waiting time per year in order to alleviate any technical risks arising from the launching operation or assembly work. The programme comprises 12 launches starting last month through to November 1991, intended to put 22 satellites into orbit. Those at the Hispasat holding company have told Cinco Dias that they suspect D’Allest’s cautious attitude is down to his imminent departure from Arianespace to take up a managerial position in Matra SA – he is trying to give his successor the chance to readjust the deadlines should he need to, they say. However, they are shocked by this attitude because D’Allest had assured them that the launch date would be respected.

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