Space: December 2, 2002


A Russian satellite launch of a SES Astra TV broadcast satellite on November 26th was not entirely successful. Instead of putting the bird into a geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometers out, the satellite is stuck in a lower 290 kilometer orbit. This happens from time to time. The $280 million satellite is insured and the insurer now has the option of trying to use the onboard positioning rockets to put the SES bird in its proper orbit (which would greatly reduce the 13 life expectancy of the satellite) or hire the Space Shuttle to bring the bird back for relaunch (which has been done before.) It has not yet been decided which option would be more cost effective.


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