An unusual outbreak of technical failures struck key players in the global satellite industry during the past ten days, with Eutelsat, Satmex and Intelsat all reporting difficulties that resulted in the shifting of customer traffic to neighboring satellites or in the reduction of the affected spacecraft’s anticipated service life. The troubles began on January 27 as an unspecified anomaly impacted the M2 satellite owned by Eutelsat. Built by Thales Alenia Space, M2 provides Ku-band capacity to various central and eastern European broadcasters from the 16° East Longitude orbital position. The cause of the failure remains under investigation, and Eutelsat officials confirmed last Friday that service had been fully restored through the transfer of capacity to three other satellites—EUROBIRD 16, SEASAT 1, and W2M—that are collocated with W2 at 16° E.L. Meanwhile, as Eutelsat restored service to affected customers, Satmex confirmed the failure of the primary propulsion system on its Satmex 5 spacecraft. The anomaly affects the XIPS electronic propulsion system used to maintain Satmex 5’s in-orbit position at 116.8° West Longitude. Although no customers were affected, engineers were forced to activate the satellite’s backup propulsion system—an action that is expected to shave more than a year off the satellite’s remaining life. Satmex, which lacks insurance for the XIPS failure, said it would seek financing for a replacement satellite as engineers are not expected to restart the primary XIPS system. Finally, Intelsat announced on Monday that it had “experienced an anomaly” with its Asian region IS-4 satellite, which was slated to be removed from service later this year. Known formerly as PanAmSat-4, IS-4 was built by Boeing and was launched into service in 1995. The satellite had been operating on back-up systems since a failure of its primary satellite control processor in 1998. Noting that affected customers were being transferred to neighboring spacecraft, Intelsat maintained that Monday’s anomaly would not “impact significantly the company’s financial position or its planned capital expenditures.”