Intelsat reports loss of I-29e spacecraft after ‘anomaly’

Artist's impression of an Intelsat EpicNG satellite.
Artist’s impression of an Intelsat EpicNG satellite.

Intelsat has announced the total loss of the Intelsat 29e spacecraft. The company first reported problems with the satellite, which offers maritime, aeronautical and wireless services in the Latin America, Caribbean and North Atlantic regions, on April 10.

Late on April 7, the I-29e propulsion system experienced damage that caused a leak of the propellant on board the satellite resulting in service disruption to customers on the satellite.

While working to recover the satellite, a second anomaly occurred, after which all efforts to recover the satellite were unsuccessful.

Since the anomaly, the company has been in active contact with affected customers.  Restoration paths on other Intelsat satellites serving the region and third-party satellites have been provided for a majority of the disrupted services.

Gogo announced in November 2016 that would use high-throughput services from Intelsat 29e to deliver inflight Wi-Fi service to passenger aircraft operating in the heavily-travelled North Atlantic route. Panasonic Avionics was also a customer on the satellite, as was Global Eagle Entertainment.

The company says migration and service restoration are well underway, highlighting the resiliency of its fleet and the benefit of the robust Ku-band open architecture ecosystem.

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