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Orbital Loss: BADR-6 communications satellite has failed and ceased operations

    Satellite operator Arabsat has confirmed information about a technical malfunction on one of its satellites that happened this week. 

    The BADR-6 satellite, placed in an orbital position at 26° East longitude, ceased operations on Monday afternoon.

    Arabsat technicians unsuccessfully tried to restore the satellite, which serves customers in the Middle East and North Africa. The signal from the satellite could also be received in Southern Europe.

    Due to a malfunction of the satellite, the services that used it were transferred to other satellites of the BADR group, placed in the orbital position of 26° east longitude. In particular, many television channels, including CNN International, were broadcast in unencoded mode via the BADR-6 satellite.

    In a statement, Arabsat said: “Arabsat experts and its engineering team promptly contacted the company’s customers and began to smoothly implement the service restoration plan to restore people’s ability to receive DTH programs. With state-of-the-art technology and redundancy solutions, Arabsat always provides its end users with reliable service of high standards. We apologize for the disruption to the services we provide to our customers and viewers.”

    Arianespace launched the BADR-6 satellite in 2008. The satellite was built (at the time) by EADS Astrium and Alcatel Space. It was equipped with 24 C-band transponders and 16 Ku-band transponders.

    Arabsat has another satellite, BADR-7 (also known as Arabsat 6B ), in an orbital position of 26 degrees East longitude, which works in tandem with the BADR-6 satellite. The BADR-7 satellite was launched into space in 2015. BADR-7 was built by Thales Alcatel Space. In addition, the company also has an older BADR-5 satellite in this orbital position, to which some channels have also been transferred.