Monday, March 17, 2008

AMC-14 Satellite Launch Fails, Impacting EchoStar

SES AMERICOM confirmed that its AMC-14 satellite failed to reach its intended orbit following its launch on board a Russian Proton Breeze-M launch vehicle on March 15. An anomaly during the second burn of the fourth stage of the rocket resulted in the satellite being placed short of the planned geostationary transfer orbit. The spacecraft is entirely contracted by EchoStar.

The satellite is healthy and is operating nominally in a stable orbit under the control of Lockheed Martin, but, if it is to be salvaged, on-board fuel will have to be spent to get it to the proper orbit. This would reduce its service life.

AMC-14 was built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, with launch services from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan provided by ILS.

SES said its investment in AMC-14 is insured for partial and total loss.

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