Intelsat retires Marisat-F2 satellite after 32 years of service

The Marisat-F2 satellite may not have garnered quite the fame of other mission-defying spacefarers like the Mars Opportunity rover (it even seems to have been a bit camera shy), but it's earned it's own little place in the history books nonetheless, with it stretching its original five-year design life to a hefty 32 years of service. That apparently made it the oldest commercial communications satellite still actively operating in space but, sadly, that streak has now come to an end, with Intelsat announcing that it has decommisioned the satellite and is using its remaining bit of fuel to raise it to "disposal altitude" in order to keep it out of the way of other satellites. Originally built by Hughes Aircraft in 1976, the 700-pound satellite had been primiarly serving ships at sea and scientists at the South Pole, who were using it for internet access in more recent years, since it had actually proven to be more capable than the two other more recent satellites serving the area.

[ Via: Engadget ]