EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) have announced that the EchoStar III satellite has been successfully recovered following an anomaly that occurred in late July and the satellite is now retired, per the FCC regulations.
EchoStar III, a Ku-band BSS satellite that provided coverage over the U.S., was a fully depreciated, non-revenue generating asset owned by EchoStar. Manufactured by Lockheed Martin and launched in 1997, EchoStar III exceeded its 15 year design life.
Derek de Bastos, CTO for EchoStar Satellite Services L.L.C., reported that after the initial loss of contact, with a joint effort by EchoStar and Lockheed Martin, a command and control link was reestablished and deorbit maneuvers performed. EchoStar III is now safely in a graveyard orbit more than 350 kilometers above the geostationary arc with its fuel and pressurants depleted, batteries drained, and systems shut down.
Barry Noakes, the commercial satellite chief engineer at Lockheed Martin, added that because of the robustness of the A2100 satellite design, the teams were able to command all the necessary recovery actions.