Satellite’s Solar Array Problem Results in $132.7M Insurance Payment for Telesat

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PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Telesat of Canada has received a $132.7 million payment from insurance underwriters to cover a partial-loss claim filed following the Telstar 14R/Estrela do Sul-2 satellite’s solar array deployment failure in May, Telesat’s owner, Loral Space and Communications, announced Jan. 17.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, New York-based Loral said Telesat received the payment in December.

Telesat had said following the May launch that the partial nondeployment of one of two solar arrays aboard Telstar 14R/Estrela do Sul-2 would force the company to reduce the satellite’s broadcast output to 60 percent of what was expected.

In addition, because the deployment glitch left one of the solar arrays in a state that will make it more difficult to fly the spacecraft, Telstar 14R/Estrela do Sul-2 is expected to operate for just 12 years in orbit before running out of fuel, as compared with the expected service life of 15 years or more.

Telesat’s owners, Loral and Canada’s PSP Investments pension fund, in 2011 ceased efforts to sell Telesat, saying none of the offers was satisfactory. Telesat and Loral subsequently announced that the two owners also would not be insisting on a dividend recapitalization, a maneuver that would pay Loral and PSP a large dividend and would force Telesat to take on substantial new debt.

 

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