Eutelsat 5 West B solar array malfunction risks total loss; satellite insured for $192.4 million; EU GNSS payload also aboard

by Peter B. de Selding

WASHINGTON — The Northrop Grumman-built Eutelsat 5 West B satellite launched Oct. 9 has been unable to activate one of its two solar arrays, a problem which, if not resolved, will likely render the satellite a total loss. It is insured for 173 million euros ($192.4 million).

Industry officials said the satellite would be useless to owner Eutelsat with only one functioning solar array -- the other has been deployed and is working --  as it would not have sufficient power to operate the spacecraft and generate revenue.

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