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Tech & Science DirecTV is moving one of its satellites to a safer orbit over fears of explosion

18:11  24 january  2020
18:11  24 january  2020 Source:   msn.com

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DirecTV said it needs to conduct an emergency operation in order to reduce the danger of an explosion . DirecTV said that the spacecraft “suffered a major anomaly” in December, which caused irreversible damage to the batteries. DirecTV said it needs to be moved to a safer orbit before Feb.

DirecTV said it needs to conduct an emergency operation in order to reduce the danger of an explosion . DirecTV said that the spacecraft “suffered a major anomaly” in December, which caused irreversible damage to the batteries. DirecTV said it needs to be moved to a safer orbit before Feb.

  DirecTV is moving one of its satellites to a safer orbit over fears of explosion © Image: The Verge/Alex Castro

DirecTV fears that one of its satellites in orbit might blow up soon, and it’s gearing up to move it to safety. Due to a problem with the satellite’s batteries, the satellite might burst apart at the end of February. If it did explode while in its current orbit, there's a chance it could damage active satellites nearby, which is why the company would like to get it out of the way.

The satellite on the verge of bursting is Spaceway-1, a vehicle built by Boeing launched in 2005, as first reported by Space News. Spaceway-1 has been orbiting along a path known as geostationary orbit, 22,000 miles above Earth. There, satellites match the orbit of the planet and appear to hover over the same patch of sky at all times. For most of its life, the satellite provided high-definition television coverage. But it has recently been used as a backup, so it hasn’t been providing any coverage for customers.

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The US Spaceway- 1 broadcast satellite is being speedily moved out of orbit amid fears that it DirecTV said that no customers would be affected by Spaceway- 1 ’s failure because it is a Also on rt.com Roscosmos engineers develop plan to BLIND foreign spy satellites flying over Russian territory.

The AT&T-owned TV service fears that its Spaceway- 1 satellite (a Boeing 702HP model) might explode due to battery issues that started manifesting in Companies are required to dump their satellites ' remaining fuel before decommissioning them to reduce the risk of explosion , but DirecTV

Apparently, something happened to the Spaceway-1 satellite in December that caused “irreversible” thermal damage to the vehicle’s internal batteries, according to a filing DirecTV sent to the Federal Communications Commission. Because of this damage, Boeing decided that the batteries could burst when they’re in use. DirecTV has been avoiding using the batteries by relying solely on Spaceway-1’s solar panels to gather power. But soon, the satellite will enter eclipse operations — when it is within Earth’s shadow — and the batteries will have to be used.

“Use of the batteries during eclipse is unavoidable and there is no ability to isolate damaged battery cells,” DirecTV wrote in its FCC filing. “The risk of a catastrophic battery failure makes it urgent that Spaceway-1 be fully de-orbited and decommissioned prior to the February 25th start of eclipse season.”

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DirecTV 's Spaceway- 1 satellite could explode due to a battery malfunction. The satellite service fears that an explosion could take out other satellites in the geostationary orbit around This means DirecTV has about a month to move Spaceway- 1 into graveyard orbit before it potentially explodes DirecTV also reminds the FCC that the commission stipulates that it can provide a waiver of its fuel

A satellite operated by AT&T Inc.’s DirecTV unit is in danger of exploding and needs to be moved away from an orbital Seeks permission from FCC to move device to safer orbit . An explosion could hurtle wreckage that damages other orbiting equipment. The U.S. military tracks about 23,000

With eclipse season looming, DirecTV turned to the FCC to get permission to move the Spaceway-1 satellite earlier than planned. When it’s time for satellites in the geostationary belt to be retired, they’re moved to a higher orbit known as a graveyard orbit. Satellites in this area, 300 kilometers higher than geostationary orbit, are far enough removed that they are usually no longer a liability to active satellites. But in the case of Spaceway-1, making that move is complicated. Typically, satellites are supposed to get rid of all their propellant before they move to the graveyard orbit. But because of the explosion risk, DirecTV doesn’t have time to empty Spaceway-1’s tank entirely. The company noted in its filing that only a “nominal portion” of the 73 kilograms of propellant within the satellite and requested a waiver of the rule.

Ultimately, the FCC granted DirecTV this authority on January 19th. The company is also looking at other ways to minimize how much propellant is on board Spaceway-1 before it’s moved, according to the FCC.

In the meantime, none of DirecTV’s customers need to worry about this potentially explosive satellite. “This satellite is a backup and we do not anticipate any impacts on consumer service as we retire it,” AT&T, the parent company of DirecTV, said in a statement. “We are replacing it with another satellite in our fleet.”

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