Insured but past its design life: Telkom 1 has major antenna pointing failure due to probable explosion

by | Aug 29, 2017 | Satellites, Seradata News

On 25 August 2017, customers of the Telkom 1 spacecraft owned by PT Telkom lost signal and had to be moved to other spacecraft after the satellite had a pointing issue affecting its main antenna. Space News reports that footage taken by the ExoAnalytics firm’s ground based telescopes appears to shows that the spacecraft had an explosion-like debris-causing event on that day, and that the spacecraft is now in an uncontrolled tumble. This may be evidence of an on-board explosion/catastrophic structural failure.

The satellite, which was three years past its 15-year design life minimum, was still insured to a total value of US$3 million. It is thought that a claim for total insurance loss will be made. Space News reports that the spacecraft is insured via the Indonesian insurance company Jasindo.

According to the Seradata SpaceTrak database history, the spacecraft which was built by Lockheed Martin, previously had a relatively quiet life save for a solar array pointing/sticking issue early in its lifespan.

Artist’s impression of Telkom 1. Courtesy: Lockheed Martin

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