Source Pravda.Ru

Telstar 18 still salvageable, says expert

Telstar 18, an American communications satellite, can be put into a geostationary orbit by its rockets, a source at the Flight Control Center told RIA Novosti.

"However the service life of the space vehicle will decrease significantly as the orbital maneuver will use practically all of its fuel," the source said.

According to the source, the satellite's apogee is 21,000 kilometers instead of 36,000 kilometers.

Currently, experts at the flight center and the American customers are meeting to make a decision about the future of Telstar 18.

The source said that it had not be excluded that the cause of the problem was with the Energia rocket corporation's Upper Stage DM (one part of Energia's two stage launch vehicle).

"The Russian Upper Stage DM did not completely fulfill its set flight sequence," said Valery Lyndin, the official spokesman for the center. "Because of this, Telstar 18 was put into a much lower orbit."

He specified that after the satellite separated from the upper stage, the foreign customer was given control of it.

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