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Malaysia’s Measat-3 satellite is in trouble – reports

Artist’s impression of MEASAT-3 orbiting over Malaysia; Credits: Wikipedia

Paris, 19 July 2021. – Malaysia’s Measat-3 satellite is drifting in an uncontrolled orbit in the geostationary arc and believed to be a “total loss”, Advanced Television and other trade media reported.

“It might now be a ‘zombie satellite’ and start causing problems for other satellites in its path”, Advanced Television said.

Measat’s nominal position was at 91.5 degrees East – where Measat is operating and co-locating several satellites – but it is drifting from this position since beginning of July, the reports said.

Measat said that while it has maintained “continuous telemetry and command control” of the satellite since the previously reported anomaly on 21 June 2021, and “an in-depth investigation is still being conducted with Boeing Satellite Systems (“BSS”) to determine the root cause of the anomaly”.

Measat-3 was built by Boeing and launched in December 2006; it was planned to be replaced with Measat-3D in 2022, the report said.

“(A)lmost all customer services” on Measat-3 have been restored onto backup satellites, the satellite operator based in Kuala Lumpur said.

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