Intelsat, Ltd. has announced today that its IS-804 satellite experienced a sudden and unexpected electrical power system anomaly on 14 January 2005, at approximately 5:32 p.m. EST.
This power failure caused the total loss of the spacecraft. In accordance with existing satellite anomaly contingency plans, Intelsat is in the process of making alternative capacity available to its IS-804 customers. The satellite, launched in 1997, furnished telecommunications and media delivery services to customers in the South Pacific. Intelsat and Lockheed Martin Corporation, the manufacturer of the satellite, are working together to identify the cause of the problem.
The news come only three months after the announcement of a similar problem with the Intelsat Americas 7. The company believes that there is no connection between that event and the problem with the IS-804, pointing out that the two satellites were manufactured by two different companies and their designs are different.
The satellite was launched December 1997 and served the Indian Ocean region until two years ago. The IS-804 was serving clients in the South Pacific.
A number of Intelsat-operated satellites in the region are being utilized to restore service to affected customers, and many end users of IS-804 capacity are already operating normally using replacement capacity. Intelsat has also begun working with other fleet operators where necessary to ensure the quickest possible restoration of service for customers.
Intelsat expects to record a non-cash impairment charge of approximately US$73 million to write off the value of the IS-804 satellite. The IS-804 was not insured, in accordance with Intelsat's practice of insuring only those satellites with a net book value greater than $150 million.