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AMC-14 A Total Loss

By | April 11, 2008

      [Satellite Today – 4-11-08] The AMC-14 satellite is considered to be a total loss, SES announced April 11. The loss of the satellite is a major blow to both SES and EchoStar, which had been banking on the satellite to help boost its high-definition strategy in the Unites States. The AMC-14 satellite, built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, was an advanced, high-powered Ku-band satellite. The spacecraft has been entirely contracted by EchoStar and was intended to operate at the orbital position of 61.5Ëš West.
          The AMC-14 satellite was launched on a Proton/Breeze M rocket provided by ILS (International Launch Services) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch failed on March 15 when an anomaly during the second burn of the fourth stage of the rocket resulted in the satellite being placed short of the planned geostationary transfer orbit. While an initial assessment of the available options to reposition the satellite appeared encouraging, more detailed examinations by SES and Lockheed Martin engineers determined that the various scenarios could not provide a reasonable chance of success.
          “The loss of any satellite is a disappointment, and the failure of AMC-14 means there will be no revenues to come from this program,” said Mark Rigolle, SES’s CFO in a statement. “However, SES is fully insured for its investment, and there will be no negative P&L impact from the accelerated writedown of AMC-14. We expect to receive the insurance proceeds of approximately $150 million in the next few months, thereby enhancing our cash position. The rest of our business in North America and worldwide has no connection with, and is unaffected by, this launch failure.”

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