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An Intelsat communications satellite built three years ago by Boeing drifts in a geostationary orbit after suffering a fuel leak last week and releasing debris fragments.
ExoAnalytic-driven Bodenteleskope Solutions, a trading company that tracks space objects with a network of optical telescopes, shows that the Intelsat 29e communications satellite staggers, leaks and drifts through the geostationary arc where numerous communications satellites travel more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 miles) Kilometers) are stationed. over the equator.
Telescope images also appear to show that several debris came from the satellite last week, said Bill Therien, Executive Vice President of Engineering at ExoAnalytic Solutions.
In an April 1
In an interview with Spaceflight Well, late on Friday, Therien said that the ExoAnalytic sensors on April 8 had detected a change in the brightness of the Intelsat 29e, suggesting that the spaceship was staggering. Tracking data collected by ExoAnalytic also showed that the satellite was migrating from its operating position to the east at about the same time.
Intelsat said Intelsat 29e experienced a second anomaly on April 9, leading to a communications loss with the satellite. On April 10, ExoAnalytic's sensors detected a piece of debris from the satellite, followed by more fragments in the next few days, Therien said.
"Communication with the satellite was intermittent," said Intelsat in a statement. "Intelsat continues to work with satellite maker Boeing to restore communications."
Therien said the largest of the debris seen by Intelsat 29e was no more than a meter or about 3.3 feet. A chill of smaller particles observed by ExoAnalytic could be fuel escaping from the satellite's fuel tanks or parts of the spacecraft itself, Therien told Spaceflight Now.
Intelsat 29e was released on January 27, 2016 aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana for a 15 year mission. Based on the Boeing 702MP satellite design, Intelsat 29e was positioned in a geostationary orbit at 50 degrees west longitude, where its engines parked the satellite in the same geographic region, with the spacecraft's orbital velocity equal to that of Earth's rotation.
Since At the start of the commercial service three years ago, Intelsat offered 29e C-band video and data distribution services throughout South America and broadcast Ku-band signals throughout the Americas, including North Atlantic aviation routes Passengers via the Internet Live television and broadband internet got satellite.
Intelsat 29e was the first boat to launch a new generation of Intelsat satellites, the so-called "Epic" series, which can route more data than previous satellite models.
The engineers continue to investigate the cause of the satellite anomaly on Intelsat 29e, and officials have not said whether the problem originates in the spacecraft or from a collision with a micrometeoroid or a piece of space debris.
The behavior of Intelsat 29e is reminiscent of failures aboard the AMC 9 and Telkom 1 communications satellites in 2017. These two satellites spilled debris after experiencing sudden geostationary orbital abnormalities. 19659006] AMC 9 and Telkom 1 – built by Thales Alenia Space and Lockheed Martin respectively – were almost at the end of their lifespan when Intelsat 29e was still relatively young.
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