Luxembourg-based global Fixed Service Satellite (FSS) operator SES S.A. revealed alongside its first-half results (released on July 28) that one of its older spacecraft suffered an unknown anomaly in July. The spacecraft, NSS-806, is in its 19th year of operation – seven past its official design life – and has lost the use of 12 of its transponders. When launched, NSS-806 had 34 C-band and 6 Ku-band 36 MHz equivalent transponders available. SES has so far declined to provide any further detail regarding the transponder failure.
The company expects the revenue impact of the lost transponder capacity to be minimal and, conveniently, the service disruption should only be temporary. This is due to the upcoming launch of the SES-14, scheduled for Q1 2018, on-board a SpaceX Falcon 9. It was previously earmarked to replace NSS-806 at its 47.5 degrees West slot. The new spacecraft will expand the coverage of the Americas and Europe previously provided by NSS-806, with capacity over the North Atlantic between North America and Europe and North Africa.