As reported last week, the failure of one of the engines on the SpaceX Falcon 9 resulted in Orbcomm’s prototype OG2 satellite being placed into a much lower orbit than planned. Late last week Orbcomm released a statement saying OG2 Prototype Hardware Functionality Verified Prior to Deorbit. The company said the OG2 prototype was deployed into a lower orbit as the result of a pre-imposed safety check required by NASA to protect the International Space Station and its crew.
According to Orbcomm’s statement: “Notwithstanding the shortened life of the OG2 prototype, the OG2 program engineering teams from Orbcomm, Sierra Nevada Corp. and Boeing made significant strides in testing various hardware components. After telemetry and command capability was established, several critical system verifications were performed. The solar array and communications payload antenna deployments were successful, along with verifying the performance of various components of both the OG2 satellite bus and the communications payload. The OG2 satellite bus systems including power, attitude control, thermal and data handling were also tested to verify proper operation. The unique communications payload, which incorporates a highly reprogrammable software radio with common hardware for both gateway and subscriber messaging, also functioned as expected.”
Orbcomm said these verification successes validate the innovative OG2 satellite technology operates as designed. Orbcomm is now focusing on completing and launching the full constellation of OG2 satellites.
“We appreciate the complexity and work that SpaceX put into this launch. SpaceX has been a supportive partner, and we are highly confident in their team and technology,” said Marc Eisenberg, Orbcomm’s chief executive officer.
Orbcomm has filed a notice of claim for the satellite under its launch insurance satellite for a total loss of the OG2 prototype. If it receives the $10 million maximum amount covered by the policy, it would largely offset the expected cost of the OG2 prototype and associated launch services and launch insurance.
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