A private company has proposed a way to salvage a stranded communications satellite and use it to provide communications to Antarctica.
Now stranded in an elliptical orbit at an inclination of 51 deg., the spacecraft lacks enough fuel to reach its planned geostationary slot at 80 deg. E. Long. But there is enough fuel on board for it to function for as long as 10 years in a new orbit designed to keep it in sight of Antarctica for 14-16 hr./day, according to William Readdy, a co-founder of Polar Broadband Systems Ltd. Set up on the Isle of Man for the “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” of salvaging the satellite, Polar Broadband has worked out a way to maneuver Express-AM4 into a 24-hr. elliptical orbit that will remain clear of the crowded geostationary belt for safety.