Recently Launched Amazonas 4A Suffers Power-system Glitch

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PARIS — Hispasat’s Amazonas 4A telecommunications satellite, launched March 22, has suffered an anomaly in its power system but is stable in orbit, Madrid-based Hispasat announced April 14.

Built by Dulles, Va.-based Orbital Sciences Corp., Amazonas 4A is intended to expand Hispasat’s presence in Latin America. Hispasat has declined to say where the satellite ultimately will be operated, but it is being tested at 51 degrees west longitude.

One industry official said the satellite has been unable to fully deploy one of its solar arrays. A Hispasat spokeswoman on April 14 said this is not the case, but that a power subsystem aboard the satellite has malfunctioned.

Hispasat and Orbital have begun an investigation into the cause of the defect and a possible solution is being devised but it is too soon to determine what happened and whether it can be corrected, the spokeswoman said.

Hispasat said it has full insurance coverage for the satellite, and that coverage would compensate for the satellite’s loss, for a partial failure or for a delay in its entry into commercial service. The company said “a contingency plan is in place” to serve customers that are scheduled to use Amazonas 4A, without disclosing what it is.

 

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