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Intelsat satellite suffered thruster problem

Intelsat’s I-33e is successfully on orbit having entered service on January 29th. The craft was launched last August and had been expected to enter service during Q4 last year. Intelsat is now considering making an insurance claim.

The delay was caused because the satellite’s primary thruster failed after launch, but Intelsat’s engineers brought into use the satellite’s onboard thrusters and began the orbit-raising process, somewhat slower than initially expected but without further mishap.

But using the satellite’s onboard thrusters has probably trimmed around 18 months from the satellite’s expected lifetime (to about 13.5 years), and the loss of a few months’ revenues over the past few months also does no favours to Intelsat’s bottom line.

Trade mag Space News reports that Intelsat is still studying analysis of the overall problem and has not yet determined whether to make an insurance claim.

Back in September last year insurance experts suggested that Intelsat could justifiably claim for a 10 pe rcent loss of in-orbit service which could result in compensation to the tune of around $40 million.

Intelsat 33e is providing service over Africa, Europe, the MENA region and Asia from its operating position at 60 degrees East.

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