Intelsat IS-804 Fails, Some Islands Left Without Communications
January 18, 2005
Intelsat announced Sunday that its IS-804 satellite experienced a sudden and unexpected electrical power system anomaly on Jan. 14, 2005 at approximately 5:32 p.m. EST that caused the total loss of the spacecraft.
Manufactured by Lockheed Martin and launched in 1997, the satellite provided telecommunications services to customers in the South Pacific. Intelsat is releasing information on efforts to restore communications with these isolated locations on its Web site . In a Jan. 17 update Intelsat said, "There are still a few smaller, isolated island communities from whom we have not received any kind of communication since the incident. This may be occurring because--absent their satellite connection--they have no means of communicating with our operations center. If you are aware of, or in contact with, any communities that fit this description, please contact Intelsat immediately, so we can find another means of getting repointing/new frequency information to them as quickly as possible."
Ham radio operators or others in contact with Intelsat direct customers or satellite service providers can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-364-4000. This e-mail address and phone number ARE NOT to be used for media inquiries or others without direct involvement in restoring service to IS-804 customers. Using these numbers for non-restoration contacts will only divert attention from the restoration effort. See the Intelasat Web site for numbers for media inquiries and non-804 related inquiries.
Intelsat and Lockheed Martin are investigating the cause of the failure of IS-804. Intelsat said it did not believe the outage was related to the recent Intelsat Americas-7 satellite anomaly, as the two satellites were built by different manufacturers and are of a different design. IS-804 was not insured and as such Intelsat expects to record a non-cash impairment charge of approximately $73 million to write-off the value of the satellite. As with the IA-7 anomaly, this event gives Zeus Holdings the right to not consummate the acquisition of Intelsat. Intelsat said it was advised that Zeus Holdings is evaluating the impact of the IS-804 failure.