confirmed June 26 that the south solar array on its recently launched IS-19 telecommunications satellite was damaged, reducing the power available to the satellite.
A deployment glitch left the array stuck in stowed position for almost two weeks following its May 31 launch atop a Zenit 3SL vehicle operated by Sea Launch AG of Bern, Switzerland, from a floating platform on the equator in the Pacific Ocean.
IS-19’s south solar array was finally deployed June 12 after the spacecraft completed its climb from its transfer orbit to geostationary orbit. Intelsat said the company would await further testing before issuing a statement on the satellite’s health.
“Data received from the satellite indicate that the south solar array is damaged, and that the power available to the satellite will be reduced,” the Luxembourg- and Washington-based satellite fleet operator acknowledged in a June 26 statement. “In-orbit testing is expected to be completed by mid-July.”
IS-19 is Intelsat’s planned replacement for IS-8 at 166 degrees east longitude, an orbital slot that serves customers in the north and southwest Pacific region. In addition to taking on IS-8 customers, IS-19 will play a key role in Intelsat’s planned global network providing broadband communications to aeronautical and maritime customers.