Intelsat, Ltd. said that its Intelsat Americas-7 satellite experienced a sudden and unexpected electrical distribution anomaly that caused the permanent loss of the spacecraft on 28 November 2004 at approximately 2:30 am EST. Intelsat has made alternative capacity available to most of its IA-7 customers, many of whom have already had their services restored. The company is working with Space/Systems Loral, the manufacturer of the satellite, to identify the cause of the problem.
The satellite, which operated at 129(degree) West, was launched in September 1999 and covered the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Central America, and parts of South America. It was used to provide digital programming in the Cable Zone, direct-to-user programming, and Internet and data applications to North/Central/South America.
Intelsat already has plans to launch the IA-8 satellite, currently scheduled to occur on 17 December 2004. The new satellite will provide 36 Ku-band, and 24 C-band, equivalent transponders to the Intelsat North American fleet and help mitigate the impact of the permanent loss of IA-7.
Intelsat signed a Transaction Agreement and Plan of Amalgamation for the sale of Intelsat last August 2004, between Intelsat, Ltd., Intelsat (Bermuda), Ltd., Zeus Holdings Limited, Zeus Merger One Limited and Zeus Merger Two Limited. According to the agreement, the total loss of the IA-7 satellite would give the purchasers the right not to consummate the acquisition of Intelsat. The purchaser, Zeus Holdings Limited, has advised Intelsat it is evaluating the impact of the IA-7 failure.