Lockheed Martin has admitted that under certain environmental and operational conditions its legacy 7000 Series satellites can suffer complete failure.

The admission followed an investigation into the failure of satellite fleet operator Intelsat’s Series 7000 IS-804 in January this year by a joint Lockheed/Intelsat board.

The satellite was one of four 7000 Series spacecraft operated by Intelsat. Eleven 7000 Series satellites are in orbit and three, including IS-804, have failed. The eleventh was launched in 1998. Intelsat made public the investigation’s preliminary findings earlier this month.

“[We] could not ascertain a cause. The complete findings will not be known until the end of September,” says Intelsat.

On June 23 Intelsat’s Space Systems/Loral IA-8 satellite was successfully launched by Sea Launch’s Zenit-3SL rocket.

Source: Flight International