Communications satellite serving the Americas fails
BY SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Posted: November 29, 2004
The Intelsat Americas 7 communications satellite, formerly known as Telstar 7, suffered a major malfunction Sunday that led to "permanent loss" of the spacecraft.
The five-year-old satellite was used for television broadcasting and other services over the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Central America and parts of South America.
Launched in September 1999, the Space Systems/Loral-built craft flew in geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above the equator at 129 degrees West longitude.
Satellite operator Intelsat said the satellite "experienced a sudden and unexpected electrical distribution anomaly that caused the permanent loss of the spacecraft on November 28, 2004 at approximately 2:30 a.m. EST."
Efforts are underway between Intelsat and Space Systems/Loral to identify the cause of the problem.
Users of Intelsat Americas 7 have switched to other satellites.
"Consistent with existing satellite anomaly contingency plans, Intelsat has made alternative capacity available to most of its IA 7 customers, many of whom have already had their services restored, reflecting Intelsat's intention to ensure a smooth transition for its customers," Intelsat said in a statement.
The satellite was self-insured by Intelsat.
This satellite was one of several acquired by Intelsat from Loral earlier this year. Telstar 4 failed in September 2003 before the sale was finished.
A new spacecraft renamed Intelsat Americas 8, formerly called Telstar 8 before Intelsat bought it through the Loral deal, is scheduled for liftoff December 17 aboard a Sea Launch Zenit rocket. Intelsat says the craft's addition to its North American fleet will "help mitigate the impact of the permanent loss of IA 7."