Stranded Orbcomm OG2-1 satellite re-enters atmosphere – questions remain about why it was stranded

by | Oct 11, 2012 | Seradata News | 4 comments

The Orbcomm OG2-1 communications satellite which was stranded in a lower than planned orbit after the partial failure of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch on 8 October 2012 (involving a first stage engine shutdown of one of the nine Merlin 1c engines) has now re-entered the atmosphere on 10 October at around 0619 GMT.  The satellite was thought to have been insured to a value of circa $10 million and did not have enough fuel to recover the satellite to its planned operational orbit.

The exact reason why the portion of the flight positioning this spacecraft failed when the earlier positioning of the Dragon CRS-1 unmanned cargo spacecraft worked successfully has not been disclosed. There are unofficial reports that the launch vehicle software had been designed to make up with a shortfall in thrust for the main payload but not for secondary payload positioning.

Dragon CRS-1 has now been captured and docked with the International Space Station (ISS). Dragon CRS 1 was captured by the ISS Robotic Arm at 1056 GMT on 10 October. The Robotic Arm then moved the craft to the Harmony Module of the Station where it then docked with all 16 bolts locked on and berthing was completed at 1303 GMT.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

ORBCOMM enters into deal to be purchased by investment firm, company valued at US$1.1 billion

ORBCOMM announced on 8 April that it had entered into an agreement to be bought by fellow American company GI Read more

AAC Clyde Space, Saab and ORBCOMM to partner on VDES maritime communications project

AAC Clyde Space, Saab and ORBCOMM announced plans, on 24 August, for a space-based VDES constellation. VDES (VHF Data Exchange Read more

Clyde Space cements role as sat operator as it does AIS deal with Orbcomm

The firm Clyde Space (aka AAC Clyde) has been given a contract worth US$5.9 million by Orbcomm to build and Read more

Orbcomm 16 disintegrates causing debris on 22 December 2018

US space tracking authorities have confirmed the breakup of satellite messaging constellation operator Orccomm’s first generation (OG1) satellite launched in 1998, Orccomm 16 (FM 16), Read more

Analysis: Voice and messaging test success by Sky and Space Global might be the beginning of the end for original narrowband LEO constellations

Would-be cubesat-constellation operator Sky and Space Global have announced that they have successfully demonstrated that nano-satellites can carry narrowband voice Read more

Orbcomm reveals three new failures affecting its second generation fleet

During Orbcomm’s second-quarter results call (on 3 August), it was revealed that three different Orbcomm OG2 (second generation) spacecraft had recently suffered Read more

Orbcomm buys South African telematics firm Skygistics

Commercial Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications satellite operator ORBCOMM Inc. which uses a fleet of small satellites to relay global satellite messaging Read more

SpaceX revolutionises spaceflight with successful first stage landing back at launch base during operational Falcon 9/Orbcomm launch

At 0129 GMT on 22 December 2015 a SpaceX Falcon 9FT (Full Thrust) launch vehicle took off from the Cape Canaveral launch Read more