The owners of a stranded communications satellite today said they will pay NASA for a shuttle rescue mission with spacewalking astronauts.
Intelsat’s board of governors authorized the rescue effort, which will cost millions of dollars, during a weeklong meeting in Barbados that ended today.
The uninsured $157-million satellite is orbiting uselessly about 345 miles up. It ended up 22,000 miles lower than intended when it failed to separate properly from a Titan 3 rocket March 14.
Martin Marietta Corp., which conducted the $272-million commercial launch, blamed an engineering design error in the rocket.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration last month said it would send up a shuttle to rescue the Intelsat VI satellite if Intelsat paid for it.