ProtoStar goes bust

Chris Forrester

Satellite operator ProtoStar has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the USA. It will sell its two satellites. The Delaware Bankruptcy Court is handling the case for ProtoStar and its associated businesses.

ProtoStar is formally based in Bermuda, but with operations in San Francisco and Singapore. ProtoStar 1 was built by Space Systema/Loral under an order originally from the Chinese (as ChinaSat-8). This order was cancelled, the craft modified and launched in July 2008 to 98.5 deg East. ProtoStar 2 was built by Boeing and launched in May 16 this year.

ProtoStar was financed by Venture Capital cash. It is now seeking Debtor in Possession funding of $16m in order to finance the sale of the two satellites.

The situation was precipitated when in March it emerged that Agrani Satellite Services cancelled a capacity contract. Agrani is part of the Essel Group of companies, connected with Zee TV.