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African satellite in trouble

Global satellite operator Intelsat said late Thursday that one of its satellites, IS-802, has “experienced a sudden and unexpected anomaly”.

The operator said that its control center is communicating with the satellite and the satellite is under control and accepting commands, but the company has had to go through the process of making alternative capacity available to its customers.

The IS-802 satellite, launched in 1997, provides telecommunications services to customers on the African continent and the Indian Ocean Region. Intelsat and Lockheed Martin Corporation, the manufacturer of the satellite, are working together to identify the cause of the problem.

It is possible there may be a connection between this event and the failure of another satellite, 804, which occurred in January 2005. The 804 was also manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

Intelsat is using capacity from its fleet of other satellites to restore service to affected customers.

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