The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has accused Dish of violating agreements on satellite regulations and fined the company $150,000. Dish, a satellite TV operator, is accused of neglecting to dispose of its old EchoStar-7 satellite after the end of its operational life. This caused the satellite to become space debris and now potentially threatens other spacecraft.
EchoStar-7 was launched in 2002, operated until 2012 and then had to be moved to a “graveyard orbit” where unused man-made space objects are located. This was necessary to free up a working orbit for payloads. It was required to raise the satellite 300 kilometers above its current position, but the company’s operators overspent the fuel and managed to raise the satellite only 120 kilometers.