SES Americom, confirmed that its AMC-14 satellite failed to reach its intended orbit following its launch on board a Russian Proton Breeze-M launch vehicle on March 15. 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 we are not in a position to comment on the possible causes of this launch anomaly, the satellite is healthy and is operating nominally in a stable orbit under the control of Lockheed Martin. SES and Lockheed Martin engineers are currently exploring various options for bringing AMC-14 into its proper geostationary orbit," said Martin Halliwell, President of SES Engineering.
In all of the various scenarios to redirect the spacecraft, onboard fuel will have to be used to propel the satellite to its correct orbital position, thereby reducing its service life. SES' investment in AMC-14 is insured for partial and total loss.
The spacecraft is entirely contracted by EchoStar Corporation and is intended to operate at the orbital position of 61.5 degrees West.