Canada’s giant Telesat 14R craft, launched on May 21st, has a stuck solar panel. The satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral will be severely hampered if ground-based engineers cannot get the array to deploy.
Indeed, this is the second significant problem to occur within the satellite industry in almost as many weeks. An Intelsat craft recently suffered a problem with its C-band antenna which also failed to deploy.
Telesat says that – at worst – its new satellite will be able to provide the same level of service as the craft it was intended to replace. However, if the solar panel fails to deploy then its overall mission will be impacted. Telstar 14R has 58 transponders on board while the original Telstar 14 has just 41.