Loral Skynet confirmed that its Telstar 4 satellite failed Friday morning at 8:56 a.m. EDT. Loral said the failure was caused by a "short circuit of its primary power bus." Telstar 4 users were transitioned to transponders on Telstar 5 and Telstar 6. The Loral news release Problem Shuts down Telstar 4 communications satellite on Spaceflightnow.com said Loral Skynet and Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the satellite, "are working to determine the cause of the problem and to restore service on the satellite, if possible."
Although at least one on-line satellite transponder listing had removed Telstar 4 from its listing as of Sunday evening, the list was still available on SatcoDX7. It showed users included Montana PBS, the Florida Knowledge Network, ABC News Feeds and ABC NewsOne, MCET Distance Learning Network, Georgia Public TV, South Carolina Educational TV, the Safeway Satellite Network, and various adult entertainment channels.
Loral planned to replace Telstar 4 with Telstar 8 next year. Telstar 8 will have 20 36-MHz wide C-band transponders, 2 72-MHz wide C-band transponders, 36 Ku-band transponders and 24 66-MHz wide Ka-band spot beams. Coverage will include Alaska, Hawaii, the continental U.S., Puerto Rico, the coast of Brazil, and South America. Loral successfully launched Telstar 13, another tri-band hybrid satellite, in August this year.
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