Intelsat will replace its lost IS-29e craft on a ono-for-one basis. IS-29e was lost in July 2019 as a result of a catastrophic fuel leak caused by an electrostatic discharge. It had been launched in January 2016.
IS-29e served both North and South America. However, Intelsat’s replacement craft, IS-40e, will focus on North America because of higher demand and in particular from airlines and their in-flight entertainment and connectivity services.
According to a report in trade newspaper Space News, the new Intelsat craft will be the most powerful in the operator’s fleet. It is due for launch in 2022.
Meanwhile, Intelsat has leased an old Spanish satellite as a gap-filler. Hispasat-1D (now branded Hispasat-143 W-1), an 18-year-old satellite, has been borrowed to continue services for some of the Intelsat IS-29e customers.