Measat-3 drifting in GEO arc after anomaly

by | Jul 15, 2021 | Finance, Satellites, Seradata News, Space Insurance

Peter B. De Selding of Space Intel Report has reported that the Measat-3 satellite looks to be in trouble. Read here.

The operator of the satellite, MEASAT Global Berhad, said in a press release on 26 June that it had observed an anomaly on 21 June, which had been resolved by the 24th. It issued a further statement on 27 June outlining that, in fact, there was still “intermittent service degradation recorded” and that additional time was needed to fully resolve the problem.

At the time of reporting, TLEs revealed that the issue with the spacecraft was quite serious. Measat-3, which had been located at 91.5 degrees East since its launch in December 2006, had drifted to 85.5 degrees East by 14 July. Figures generated from the TLEs also show that the satellite’s apogee and perigee remain largely unchanged, meaning it may pose a danger to other inhabitants of the “GEO belt”.

An artist’s impression of the Measat-3 satellite in-orbit. Courtesy of Boeing Satellite Systems


Comment by Matt Wilson: Measat-3 was based on the Boeing 601 satellite bus and was rapidly approaching the end of its 15-year design life in December this year. Reports from Malaysia and the observable drift in the GEO belt suggest that some anomaly has affected the propulsion system on the satellite. It was reportedly still insured and these developments may signal a total or near-total loss claim in the future.

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