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Wireless/satellite

The AMC-14 Saga Continues

3:50 PM -- SES Americom has already declared the AMC-14 satellite a "total loss" following the "launch anomaly" that occurred on March 15, but there're still plenty of folks fussing about the future of this particular piece of space junk. (See SES Calls Satellite 'A Total Loss'.)

SpaceDaily reported Wednesday that SES is trying to hawk the satellite to a U.S. government agency before a competitor or a customer tries to purchase it from the bird's underwriters.

But the story points out that such a deal could violate the Commercial Space Act of 1998, which "prohibits U.S. government agencies from owning spacecraft to produce products they can buy commercially."

SES has already stated that it expects to receive $150 million in insurance proceeds from the loss of AMC-14, but sources told the pub that SES could be seeking a sale to prevent a competing satellite unit with corporate ties to Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) from swooping in and buying AMC-14 (lame as the bird is) for itself. Dish, for its part, has repeatedly said that the loss of AMC-14 won't impair its hi-def expansion plans. (See Dish: It's Still All Good .)

But it appears that its EchoStar Corp. cousin is more than willing to help "retire" AMC-14. On Tuesday (April 22) EchoStar filed a "special temporary authority" (STA) request with the FCC that seeks permission for the company to communicate with AMC-14 for a period of thirty days as part of a plan to guide a safe, controlled re-entry of the satellite. The anticipated impact would be somewhere in the Southern Pacific ocean "well away from any land masses."

Well, that's comforting.

― Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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