After mystery incident Malaysian satellite to fall from space, says report
- August 16, 2021
- Karim El Arsh
A Malaysian communications satellite launched into space some 15 years ago will be de-orbited after suffering an unexplained issue in June which left it out of commission.
Space.com reported that Measat-3 was put under ground control on June 24 after an unknown incident three days earlier which left it “playing dead”.
Space tracking company ExoAnalytic Solutions meanwhile estimated in the report that the satellite had been “tumbling in its orbit since at least July 1”.
“Further testing and recovery efforts found that the satellite could not re-enter service,” the report quoted Measat as saying in an update from the company.
Measat-3 was launched on Dec 11, 2006 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It was ordered by Measat Satellite Systems Sdn Bhd in March 2003.
An investigation into the cause of its inoperability is underway by Measat and Boeing, with ExoAnalytic Solutions noting no evidence of an in-space collision or near-term collision risk with other objects in space.
No details are yet available on Measat’s plan to de-orbit the satellite, which will see it fall from space to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.
TV operator Astro was among the customers affected by the satellite’s service problem, although the report said that most clients were transferred to back-up satellites by mid-July.