‘Attempts to salvage a wayward GEO comsat have come unstuck in the face of institutional disinterest and an aging patent of questionable validity.
The AMC-14 commercial geostationary satellite was launched in March by a Proton launch vehicle into space just short of its minimum geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). [..]
Following the failed launch, SES Americom looked into how they might salvage the satellite in a manner similar to the Asiasat-3 salvage in 1998.
However, SpaceDaily has now learned that a plan to salvage AMC-14 was abandoned a week ago when SES gave up in the face of patent issues relating to the lunar flyby process used to bring wayward GEO birds back to GEO Earth orbit. [..]
Industry sources have told SpaceDaily that the patent is regarded as legal “trite”, as basic physics has been rebranded as a “process”, and that the patent wouldn’t stand up to any significant level of court scrutiny and was only registered at the time as “the patent office was incompetent when it came to space matters”.’