Recently it was reported that AT&T would not be launching new satellites into space for DIRECTV. Now a backup DIRECTV satellite has suffered a battery malfunction that AT&T warns could cause the satellite to explode according to to a report from Space News.
In December, AT&T says an unexplained anomaly caused “significant and irreversible thermal damage” to a Boeing-build High Powered 702 model satellite’s batteries that was launched back in 2005. AT&T worries that this damage could cause the satellite to explode if it continues to operate. To prevent this from happening, AT&T is racing to try and burn off satellite propellant as it prepares to decommission it.
Update AT&T sent Cord Cutters News the following statement about the satellite: “This satellite is a backup and we do not anticipate any impacts on consumer service as we retire it. We are replacing it with another satellite in our fleet.”
“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,” DirecTV said.
AT&T had hoped to keep this satellite running until 2025, and now AT&T is looking into options to move other satellites to help replace the capacity the Spaceway-1 satellite offered. For now, DIRECTV customers won’t notice any changes in service, but if more satellites die sooner than expected, AT&T may find themselves running out of time with DIRECTV.
Cord Cutters News will post updates to this story as we learn more.
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