SES Evaluating Options For AMC-14; Inmarsat Holds Inmarsat-4 Delivery
[Satellite Today – 3-17-08] SES is weighing its options for the AMC-14 satellite, which was left short of its intended orbit by a March 15 Proton failure.
“Since the spacecraft is stable and performing nominally, albeit in the wrong orbit, we have some time to carefully evaluate the consequences of it and to carefully evaluate all available alternatives to whatever maneuver we are going to be conducting,” said Yves Feltes, an SES spokesman. “This is an ongoing process between SES and the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, and until we have taken the decision on what corrective action we are going to take, there is not much we can say. It is a very challenging situation. In all of the various scenarios to redirect the spacecraft, onboard fuel will have to be used so there is likely to be an impact on the expected lifetime of the satellite.”
The spacecraft, under contract to EchoStar, is intended to operate at the orbital position of 61.5°West and is insured for partial and total loss.
Separately, Inmarsat has suspended plans to ship the third Inmarsat-4 satellite to the launch site for its planned Proton launch, the satellite operator announced. Inmarsat said it expects the launch, scheduled for late April, to be postponed pending an investigation of the launch failure by provider International Launch Services (ILS) and the Russian State Commission.