A strike at the Kourou space centre in French Guiana on Tuesday forced authorities to postpone an Ariane-5 rocket launch, the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) said.
The main reason for the delay to the launch that would have put two telecommunications satellites into orbit is a strike launched by Telezpazio, a business at the base specialised in radars, CNES said.
The launch would have been Arianespace's fifth this year, and was to put two television satellites into orbit: Arabsat 5C covering the Middle East and North Africa and SES-2 covering North America and the Caribbean.
"The business works on radars which are of course a sensitive issue during launch periods. And the means are not available. That's why the launch has been delayed," a CNES spokesman said, asking not to be named.
The Telezpazio strike began Tuesday, the day after another base business, Cegelec Space, went on strike following a call by the Force Ouvriere (FO) union and the Union of Guianese Workers (UTG)
The unions want a pay rise and a bonus for working Sundays, FO's Jean Pustay told AFP.
"Talks are underway with the management but they're not moving forward very quickly," Pustay said.
(c) 2011 AFP