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ISRO-built satellite fails in space

January 31, 2009 23:12 IST

In a setback to the Indian Space Research Organisation, the communication satellite W2M built by it has virtually failed in space after suffering a major anomaly affecting the satellite's power subsystem, within six weeks of the launch.

"The anomaly is serious. Chances (of revival) are very, very dim. It's very difficult to revive it. We have almost given up hope. I would say the chances of revival are only ten per cent", a senior ISRO official said on condition of anonymity.

The satellite was built on a commercial basis in partnership with EADS-Astrium of Europe, for Eutelsat Communications. Eutelsat Communications earlier announced that the performance of the W2M satellite, launched on December 20, 2008, does not comply with the requirements set with the spacecraft's manufacturer, EADS Astrium/ISRO Antrix, following the major anomaly affecting the satellite's power subsystem.

The company said it has consequently taken the decision that in the current circumstances W2M would not be integrated into Eutelsat's satellite fleet, adding, currently under the control of ISRO, the satellite is undergoing a full technical investigation by ISRO and EADS.

Eutelsat Communications Chairman and CEO Giuliano Berretta said "the situation affecting W2M is a serious disappointment for Eutelsat".

The W2M was successfully launched by European Ariane-5 launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou in French Guiana.

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