AMC-9 (2003-present)
Mission typeCommunications
OperatorSES Americom (2003-2009)
SES World Skies (2009-2011)
SES S.A. (2011-2017)
COSPAR ID2003-024A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.27820
Mission duration15 years (planned)
14 years, 11 days (achieved)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeSpacebus
ManufacturerAlcatel Space
Launch mass4,100 kg (9,000 lb) [2]
Dry mass2,000 kg (4,400 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date6 June 2003, 22:15:15 UTC
RocketProton-K / Briz-M
Launch siteBaikonur Cosmodrome,
Site 200/39
ContractorKhrunichev State Research and Production Space Center
Entered serviceAugust 2003
End of mission
DisposalGraveyard orbit
Last contact17 June 2017
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeGeostationary orbit
Longitude83° West
Band48 transpanders:
24 C-band
24 Ku-band
Frequency36 MHz
Coverage areaCanada
United States
← AMC-8
AMC-10 →

AMC-9 (formerly GE-12) is a commercial broadcast communications satellite owned by SES World Skies, part of SES S.A. Launched on 6 June 2003, from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on the 300th launch of a Proton family rocket,[3] AMC-9 is a hybrid C-band / Ku-band satellite located at 83° West, covering Canada, United States, Mexico, and Caribbean. It is owned and operated by SES S.A.,[4] formerly SES Americom.

300th launch of Proton

A Proton rocket successfully placed the AMC-9 satellite into orbit for Alcatel Space and SES AMERICOM. The launch was conducted by the U.S.-Russian joint venture International Launch Services (ILS). This marks the 300th flight of a Proton vehicle, including 38 years of Russian federal missions and seven years with commercial flights under the auspices of ILS. Today's mission was the first Proton rocket launch of the year for ILS. The vehicle used today was Proton vehicle with a Briz-M upper stage, which lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 22:15 on 6 June 2003 UTC. After 8 hours and 55 minutes, the AMC-9 satellite was separated from the Briz-M and placed into geostationary transfer orbit. Satellite builder Alcatel Space of Cannes, France, contracted for the launch as a delivery-in-orbit mission.[5]

17 June 2017 serious anomaly

The GEO communications spacecraft AMC-9, formerly known as GE-12, experienced an energetic event estimated to have occurred at approximately 07:10 UTC on 17 June 2017, after approximately 14 years on-orbit. SES S.A., the spacecraft owner-operator, described this event as a "serious anomaly". Following this event, the spacecraft began a westward drift in the GEO belt. Debris fragments have been observed in the vicinity of the AMC-9 spacecraft. SES has regained control of the spacecraft and has transferred AMC-9 to the so-called graveyard orbit, a long-term disposal orbit region located above the GEO belt. The NASA Orbital Debris Program Office (ODPO) characterizes this episode as an anomalous event. The spacecraft bus is the popular Thales Alenia Space (formerly Alcatel Space) Spacebus-3000B3 satellite bus. Spacecraft dry mass is estimated to be on the order of 2000 kg. On-board stored energy sources include fuel and pressurized components, as well as the battery subsystem.[6] SES claims that it re-established contact with the satellite on 1 July 2017, that it poses no risk of a collision with other active satellites, and that by the end of the day following the anomaly, most of AMC-9's traffic had been transferred to other SES satellites.[7][8][1]


  1. ^ a b "Two Anomalous Events in GEO" (PDF). Orbital Debris Quarterly News. NASA Orbital Debris Program Office. 22 (1): 1. February 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 April 2022. Retrieved 4 April 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ "AMC-9". Gunter's Space Page. 21 July 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Proton Launch Advisory: AMC-9". International Launch Services. 2 June 2003. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  4. ^ "AMC-9". SES S.A. Archived from the original on 20 July 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  5. ^ "300th mission flown by Proton vehicle". International Launch Services (ILS). 7 June 2003. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  6. ^ Berger, Eric (2 July 2017). "A satellite may be falling apart in geostationary orbit". Ars Technica. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  7. ^ "SES: AMC-9 has "no risk of a collision with other active satellites"". SpaceNews. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  8. ^ "SES re-establishes communications with AMC-9; pieces of satellite appear to have broken off". Space Intel Report. 2 July 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2021.