Viasat’s Inmarsat I6 F2 satellite suffers power failure

An artist’s rendering of an I6 satellite in orbit.


A second Viasat communications satellite is malfunctioning in orbit, this time from the fleet of recently acquired U.K.-based Inmarsat, the company said on Thursday.

The I6 F2 satellite, which Inmarsat launched in February, suffered a failure with its power system while climbing in orbit to where it planned to operate as a backup.

Airbus manufactured the satellite and is, alongside Viasat, assessing whether the satellite can be recovered for use.

A person familiar with the matter told CNBC that the odds of the satellite recovering are low.

Viasat said the I6 F2 issue “does not impact ongoing customer services,” and is also not expected to “materially affect the financial outlook” the company gave in August.

The malfunction with the satellite, inherited by Viasat after closing its $7.3 billion acquisition of Inmarsat in May, comes weeks after the Carlsbad, California-company disclosed that its highly anticipated, $750 million ViaSat-3 Americas satellite suffered a malfunction.

Viasat has been assessing how to address “unanticipated challenges” presented by the ViaSat-3 Americas problem.

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I6-F2 had not finished orbit raising nor begun the commissioning process yet.

Viasat noted the I6 F1 satellite is operational and continues to perform as expected. That satellite launched in December and provides communications services above the Indian Ocean.

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