Russian rocket failure risks Mexico’s options

Back on August 7th, a Russian rocket failed to deliver two satellites into orbit. Various boards of inquiry were set up, but the approval to resume launches has not yet been given which is a major worry for Mexico’s Satmex satellite operator.

The exact same type of rocket is due to launch Satmex-8 later this year. But every week of delays pushes that launch later and later, and the satellite it is replacing (Satmex-5), an extremely popular craft for broadcasters at 116.8 degrees West, is likely “under a worst case scenario” to run out of fuel by late February.

Satmex-8 is being built by Space Systems/Loral and was originally hoped to have been launched between August and October, and this give Satmex plenty of time to transfer clients from the older satellite to the new craft. SS/L, in essence, has finished building the satellite.

Intelsat and EchoStar have launches scheduled ahead of Satmex. The new craft has 24 C-band transponders and 40 in Ku-band.

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