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DirecTV satellite in danger of exploding
Posted: Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 11:30 AM ET (1630 GMT)
Spaceway-1 (Boeing) DirecTV fears one of its satellites could explode because of a battery malfunction. The company informed the FCC its Spaceway-1 satellite suffered an unexplained anomaly in December that caused "significant and irreversible thermal damage" to its batteries. The company says the satellite is relying solely on power directly generated by its solar panels, but will start experiencing eclipses in its geostationary orbit in late February that will require it to use its batteries, risking a "catastrophic battery failure." The company says it's working to decommission the satellite by Feb. 25, when those eclipses will start, but will not be able to deplete all of the spacecraft's onboard fuel by then. Spaceway-1 is a Boeing 702 satellite launched in 2005 that was serving as a backup to DirecTV's other satellites.
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