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Failed satellite threatens to wreak havoc in geostationary orbit

Failed satellite threatens to wreak havoc in geostationary orbit

An out-of-control spacecraft is drifting in the geostationary orbit threatening to damage operational satellites
An out-of-control spacecraft is drifting in the geostationary orbit threatening to damage operational satellites

The Yamal-201 satellite, a communication satellite owned by Gazprom Satellite Systems used to provide direct to home television in Russia, was hit by a string of technical problems in early June. After its transponder stopped operating and all communication was lost, speculations appeared the 11-year old spacecraft, expected to be retired next year, completely failed.

However, Gazprom Space Systems haven't officially commented on the situation.

According to a source familiar with the situation, the now dead spacecraft is tumbling in space, slowly slipping westwards from its orbital position at 90 degrees of eastern longitude and would eventually reach an area at about 75 degrees of eastern longitude which is populated with geostationary satellites of global operators.

Among companies who have their satellites in the area at risk is Thailand’s Thaicom, India’s communications and weather satellite INSAT-2E and satellites of European satellite communications companies Intelsat and Inmarsat.

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July 8, 2014


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