Amazonas 4A suffers power systems fault – major insurance loss is likely

by | Apr 15, 2014 | Satellites, Space Insurance | 0 comments

The commercial communications satellite Amazonas 4A  (aka Hispasat 4A)has had a fault with its power system. The spacecraft which was launched on 22 March 2014 on behalf of the satellite operator Hispasat, uses a Star 2.4 bus design built by Orbital Sciences Corporation.  The spacecraft which is currently under test in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) was insured for €145 million (US$200 million) with a claim for insurance loss likely to be made.  Initial reports were that part of one of the solar arrays had not deployed correctly, but Hispasat has since denied that it is a deployment issue.

Update on 23 April 2014: Orbital Sciences has officially indicated that the anomaly is not likely to be repaired and an insurance claim for at least a major partial loss is thought to be likely given the expected 50% power loss which could reduce remaining transponder-years.  Slightly brighter news for insurers was that the fault is thought to be a “one-off” given the configuration and components used, and it should not affect other spacecraft as a generic issue.

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