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Intelsat’s anticipated operational in-service date for its I-33e satellite has slipped from this year into Q1/2017. The reason, according to the company, is that the satellite suffered a primary thruster malfunction during its orbit-raising period.
The satellite, built by Boeing, was successfully launched on August 24th. Everything else, including the deployment of its solar arrays and panels, is working correctly, but the satellite is not now expected to begin its in-orbit testing until December. Intelsat says it should then start earning its keep during Q1.
Boeing is working with Intelsat to identify the cause of the problem.
I-33e is Intelsat’s second ‘epic’ high-throughput satellite, and is targeted to operate from 60 degrees East, and serve Africa, Europe, the Mid-East and Asia. Once the new satellite is on station it will relieve Intelsat 904 which will be redeployed to a new mission.