Drifting ECHOSTAR 3 is recovered and put in graveyard orbit

by | Sep 7, 2017 | Satellites, Seradata News

While it was an old communications satellite, well past its original design life (it was launched in 1997 and had a design life of 13 years), EchoStar, continued to operate ECHOSTAR 3, mainly as a non-revenue-generating asset as a back-up for the rest of its fleet. However, all that came to an end in July when ECHOSTAR 3 experienced an anomaly, which caused communications with the satellite to be interrupted and intermittent.

ECHOSTAR 3 began drifting westward along the geostationary arc at a rate of 0.1 degrees per day from 87.2 degrees West inclined, and there were concerns that it might even collide with other spacecraft. However, to the relief of many, EchoStar Corp has formally announced that communications and command of the satellite have been re-established and it has now been formally retired and moved to a graveyard orbit 350 km above the GEO belt.

Artist’s impression of ECHOSTAR 3. Courtesy: Lockheed Martin

 

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