Venezuela loses key DTH satellite

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A report from specialist observers Seradata says that Venezuela’s VeneSat-1 is tumbling in an unusable orbit and may not be recoverable.

VeneSat-1 – also known as Simon Bolivar – was built by China Great Wall Industry Corp and launched in 2008 with a 15-year anticipated lifespan. It has been in difficulty for at least 10 days following on from a series of manoeuvres on March 13 and followed a reported problem with a solar array in February.

The satellite is owned by Venezuela’s government and carries C-band and Ku-band transponders. It should be operating from 78 degrees West. The satellite served DTH viewers in Venezuela and included the ‘CANTV’ pay-TV package and the SiBCI services including Telesur.

Another ground-based observer, Bob Hall of Pennsylvania-based Analytical Graphics (AGI) and using telescope observations, told trade newspaper Space News that the satellite had drifted 30 degrees from its correct orbital position. He also said that it was quite possible that the satellite could be recovered over time provided the craft wasn’t severely damaged.


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