The Second Satellite Failure in as Many Weeks – Reported by Viasat


A second communications satellite from Inmarsat, acquired by Viasat, is facing malfunctions in orbit. The I6 F2 satellite, launched by Inmarsat in February, experienced a power system failure as it ascended to its intended backup operating position. Manufactured by Airbus, the satellite’s potential recovery is currently being assessed by Viasat and Airbus, although sources suggest the odds of recovery are low. This incident follows Viasat’s earlier disclosure that its highly anticipated $750 million ViaSat-3 Americas satellite had also suffered a malfunction.

Viasat has been grappling with addressing unexpected challenges arising from the ViaSat-3 Americas issue. Despite the malfunction with the I6 F2 satellite, Viasat assured that customer services remain unaffected, and the company’s financial outlook provided in August is expected to remain stable.

The malfunction of the I6 F2 satellite is the second setback in Viasat’s space endeavors after its acquisition of Inmarsat for $7.3 billion. The I6 F1 satellite, which launched in December, continues to function as anticipated, providing communication services over the Indian Ocean. It’s important to note that the I6 F2 satellite had not completed its orbit raising or commissioning process before the malfunction occurred.

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