DirecTV Satellite May Explode Due to Damaged Batteries

WASHINGTON—The DirecTV Spaceway-1 satellite is at risk of explosion after it suffered a battery malfunction, according to reports.

In a filing to the FCC, DirecTV said that the satellite experienced an unexplained anomaly that caused “significant and irreversible thermal damage” to its batteries. Boeing, which built the satellite, said that there is a high risk of explosion if the batteries were to be recharged. The satellite is currently operating on solar power, but it is scheduled to pass through the Earth’s shadow in late February, which would require the batteries.

The plan will be to move Spaceway-1 out of the geostationary arc and decommission it prior to Feb. 25.

The 15-year-old satellite was a backup satellite, meaning that no customers’ TV services were affected by the failure.

More information is available on SpaceNews.