Thursday, March 17, 2011

Refueling Geosync Sats?

Now this is something I never thought I would see... according to Space News blog, MDA of Canada has contracted with Intelsat to deliver 1000kg (half of the 2000kgs available) of fuel to Intelsats otherwise healthy satellites, adding several years of useful life to four or five satellites. In truth, only about 4 year of extended service are the mission's goal, as the electronic and solar arrays degrade due to the harsh conditions. Most satellites are designed to last about 15 years. Even though they could be fully refueled, the likelihood that the satellite would fail long before the 30 year period would be high.

Also at this point is still isn't clear who is libel should the MDA vehicle damage a satellite which would leave a catastrophic amount of debris in orbit.

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