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IS-804 satellite fails
Posted: Mon, Jan 17, 2005, 10:11 AM ET (1511 GMT)
Intelsat 8 satellite illustration (Intelsat) The Intelsat 804 (IS-804) communications satellite failed in orbit Friday, the second such failure for the satellite operator in less than two months. Intelsat announced late Sunday that IS-804 suffered "a sudden and unexpected electrical power system anomaly" Friday evening, rendering the satellite totally and permanently unusable. Many customers of the satellite had been moved to other satellites by Sunday evening, although the satellite failure caused some disruptions to customers in its South Pacific coverage area: the island of American Samoa lost most of its communications services because of the failure. The failure is the second recent one for Intelsat, which lost the Intelsat Americas 7 (IA-7) satellite in late November, although that spacecraft was partially recovered. Intelsat said the two failures are likely not linked since the two spacecraft are different models built by different companies: IA-7 is a Space Systems/Loral 1300 model, while IS-804 was a Lockheed Martin 7000. Intelsat said it will take a $73 million charge to write off the value of the seven-year-old satellite. Intelsat is in the process of being acquired by a group of private equity firms; the failure is expected to lower the price of the company somewhat, the Wall Street Journal reported.
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