Thor II de-orbited after 15 years

January 14, 2013 09.41 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Thor II has been successfully deorbited to a ‘graveyard slot’ after 15 years in service. Operator Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc) confirmed the six-day manoeuvre was completed on January 10, 2013.

In line with industry best-practice Thor II completed its final journey to an orbit more than 350 km above geosynchronous orbit where satellites are intentionally placed at the end of their operational life.

“Thor II represents TSBc’s commercial foundation and for this reason it is fitting to commemorate its years of service at 1 degree West, which is now one of the fastest growing platforms for video distribution and serves more than 17 million households in the Nordic region and throughout Central and Eastern Europe,” said Cato Halsaa, vice president and CEO of Telenor Satellite Broadcasting.

Thor II was the first communications satellite that TSBc specified, commissioned and launched and was put into orbit by a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral in May 1997.

For its first years of life it operated alongside Thor I, the former Marcopolo 2, which had been purchased after the collapse of British Satellite Broadcasting.

Most recently Thor II had been leased to SES for use at 5 degrees East.