Intelsat’s bankruptcy court has postponed a March 17th hearing of the SES action against Intelsat where SES is claiming $1.8 billion for what that company alleges is unfair practice during the C-Band Alliance process and the subsequent division of the FCC’s ‘incentive’ payments for clearing the satellite frequencies.
The bankruptcy court adjourned the hearing on the motion of Intelsat SA’s convertible noteholders for authority to file a complaint determining ownership of the Accelerated Relocation Proceeds and SES’s motion to intervene in that complaint, until June 14th.
However, June 14 is also the currently-scheduled date of the hearing on confirmation of Intelsat’s plan of reorganization. The Court specifically acknowledged that the issue of ownership of the Accelerated Relocation Proceeds was a critical issue in the Intelsat cases and recognised that many parties, including SES, wanted the opportunity to be heard on that issue.
The Judge ultimately determined that the best time to take up that issue was in June, in connection with the plan confirmation hearing.
Heading into space, a Northrup Grumman ‘space tug’ rescue mission is closing in on its target satellite, Intelsat’s 10-02 craft.
The Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV-2) has spent the past few days getting up close and personal with the Intelsat satellite while systems have been tested. The MEV-2 craft is having to be ultra-cautious as 10-02 is still a working satellite. Last year, its predecessor MEV-1, had a somewhat easier time of it, given that its then target satellite Intelsat-901 was already in a safe (and so-called) graveyard orbit.
MEV-2’s role is to act as an orbiting power unit and fuel tank to what is otherwise a valuable and working satellite. The target 10-02 satellite has been working since 2004 and otherwise would be nearing its normal ‘end of life’ and would need to be replaced with a new satellite. The MEV-2 eliminates that need for the mission’s contracted five years. The MEV-2 will also return the satellite to its nominal orbital position.
Intelsat 10-02 is located at 1 degree West (359 degrees East) and carries 45 active C-band transponders and 16 Ku-band transponders. The satellite’s official design life in orbit was 13 years and has already outperformed its mission duration.