SkyTerra1 All Better: Glitch Fixed and Fixed is Good

Posted: December 15, 2010 in Uncategorized
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SkyTerra 1’s 22-meter antenna has apparently been successfully unfurled according to Boeing and SpaceNews. It’s definitely good news because the anomaly threatened mission success:

El Segundo, Calif.-based Boeing said that all SkyTerra 1 systems are healthy, and that further satellite checkout procedures will continue “over the next several months” before the satellite, which was launched Nov. 14, is handed over to its customer, LightSquared of Reston, Va. LightSquared is owned by New York hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners.

What went wrong?  The article doesn’t say, but chances are it was some sort of “stiction,” which causes a part to stick and keeps it from deploying correctly.  How do defeat stiction?  Normally by jiggling the part in question, if that’s doable.  Depending on the satellite’s design, in this case it might entail cycling the reaction wheels or the likes to let the antenna unfurl, just as you might jiggle a door that’s jammed.

Earlier this week the antenna was described as 98 percent unfurled, but a very smooth antenna is required for optimal performance so it’s great the issue appears to be completely fixed.

So what’s next?  More check out:

“We congratulate the Boeing, Harris and LightSquared teams who have worked diligently over the past week to successfully deploy the SkyTerra 1 L-band reflector,” Martin Harriman, LightSquared executive vice president of ecosystem development and satellite business, said in a statement. “We look forward to Boeing’s completion of in-orbit testing of the SkyTerra 1 satellite and handing [it] over to us in early 2011. LightSquared is proceeding on schedule with its rollout of the nation’s first integrated wireless broadband and satellite network.”



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Reston Guitars, NSSC. NSSC said: SkyTerra1 All Better: Glitch Fixed and Fixed is Good: […]

  2. […] anomalies issues? Fairly recent examples include AEHF-1; Eutelsat W3B; the Glonass launch failure; SkyTerra 1 (resolved); and others.  More recent examples include ViaSat-1 delays and Telstar 14R.  […]

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